A couple things are luring me over to the dark side — an e-book reader.
If you weren’t under a rock the last 24 hours, you know Barnes & Noble is releasing an e-reader, which Wired immediately said would cause Kindle owners “a giant dose of buyer’s remorse.” Now I’ve struggled over whether to get an e-book reader for quite a while, particulary since the Kindle was released. The momentum though is gaining.
First, the B&N reader will support multiple formats, including PDF and EPUB, and also allow access to the public domain titles in Google Books. I have plenty of PDF works on my laptop and home computer. I just never read them because I don’t like to have to be sitting at a desk or with a computer in my lap to read. Second, it has built in wi-fi access. Third, while it’s the same price as a Kindle — $259 — I have around $100 in B&N gift cards in my wallet or at home, which amounts to a hefty discount.
Now I’ve often said there are tactile aspects to the book reading experience that are important to me. I don’t know if naming the device “Nook” is supposed to encourage that thought or simply annoy and amuse people. B&N also has a great sales advantage. With its retail stores, people can actually go play with a Nook before buying.
That leaves me with another key question. Will the draw of the pre-order become an irresistible force before the immovable object actually holds one in his hands and makes a somewhat less “gotta have the new gadget” decision?
Printing is no longer the only way of reproducing books. Reading them, however, has not changed.
Lawrence Clark Powell, Books in My Baggage