I’ll admit it, I’m a late adopter for technological stuff. I only got on Twitter because my husband and sister both have accounts, and in a paranoid moment, I became afraid that they would tweet about me. I’ve since surpassed them both with followers, and after having met some great people, I’m thinking that sometimes paranoia pays off.
My motivations for getting an e-reader are a little more straightforward. First, I love books, but I live in a small house, and my bookshelves are quite crowded. Second, I’m reviewing self-published books on my writing blog, and some of those aren’t available in hard copy. Also, well, books are comfy for some of the household residents, which isn’t conducive to actually reading them:
Once I decided to get an e-reader, I faced a host of other questions: back-lit vs. e-ink screen? Price point? Market share of reading materials? Do I go all out and get an iPad?
“Just go to Best Buy and Barnes & Noble and play with them,” my exasperated Hubby told me after I’d been obsessing about the decision for a few days.
No, no, I wanted to figure it all out for myself because I’m stubborn like that. I found myself down to the two main e-reader choices, Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook. Both have really appealing features. The Kindle isn’t back-lit, so it’s likely more sleep-friendly, and Amazon has 47-48% of the e-book market share. The Nook Color is, well, color, and has more capabilities, and my Blackberry Torch has served as a gateway gadget to get me hooked on touch screens.± It can also be hacked with an Android platform to turn it into a tablet and has external storage. Cost wasn’t really an issue because I’m trading in credit card reward points, and they’re about the same.
At this point, I took the most logical step possible: I engaged my social networks and took a scientific* poll of my Twitter and Facebook friends.
Votes for Kindle: 3
Votes for Nook: 1
Votes for Kindle: 8
Votes for Nook: 2
The funny thing about both kinds of e-reader was that everyone loves whatever they have. It reminded me of being in social psychology, or maybe it was cognitive psychology, class (those painted cinder block walls in the psych building at UGA blended together after a while) and talking about decision-making. The principle is that, when faced with two equally good options, people will rationalize whatever choice they make and convince themselves that whatever they don’t choose wasn’t right for them, anyway, which made me suspect just how much people love their e-readers. Poll results: out the window because, darnit, I’m going to figure this thing out for myself!
I was still torn, so I did what I should have done in the first place: I went to Best Buy and Barnes & Noble at Edgewood and played with them. I was hoping that a Best Buy geek would appear to answer questions for me, but apparently I wasn’t in the big-ticket item section, and they never appear when you actually want them. The ladies at the B&N were really helpful, and they showed me that it is possible to manipulate the brightness and contrast of the Nook to minimize the back-lit impact.
So that’s what I got, a Nook color. Thanks to everyone who helped me with this decision, and especially to Hubby. I went and played with the e-readers on Friday, which was his birthday, so I was able to give him the best birthday present a woman can give a man: I told him he had been right all along.
Now I have to be patient and let the darn thing charge before I can play with it…
± I’m really hoping the next step isn’t an i-thingie.
*Okay, not really.
P.S. Here’s what I got for Hubby’s birthday. Chocolate mousse cake, which was more like creamy chocolate mousse with flecks of chocolate on a chocolate pie crust. Yes, it was chocolate heaven and almost worth admitting he was right.