When I first thought about getting an e-reader, I asked for your opinions. Many of you chimed in and said you used Nooks and loved them. And, after some internet research, I decided that’s what I wanted as well. My mind was made up. That’s what I was getting.

Then I went to Barnes and Noble and used one.

And I knew it wasn’t for me.

One of the things that did turn me off in my shopping experience was the sales associate who first tried to sell me a Nook Color, then when I told her I wanted a dedicated e-reader said, “well, let’s ring you up a Nook then.” I told her I was there to look at them and would not buy that day and would probably buy online; she then ignored me for the rest of my shopping experience. Not something that would have deterred me if the Nook ended up being for me, but it was annoying.

For me, the biggest drawback to the Nook was the navigation. I found the touchscreen annoying, mostly because I kept trying to touch the actual screen rather than the touch part, and slow. I was using a store demo Nook, which I expect to be slower than what I would purchase, but it was painfully slow. I also found two of the features I was really excited about, highlighting passages and the dictionary, difficult and tedious to use. To use either of these features, you have to go to a menu, select which one you want (like dictionary), scroll to the work you want to look up, click, then be taken to another screen to see what the word means. By the time I’ve done that, I could have just gotten a dictionary and looked it up myself, and I thought it would really disrupt, rather than enhance, the reading experience. With the Kindle, I simply scroll the the word I want to look up, and the definition appears on the bottom of my screen. If I want more information, I can click and be taken to a separate page, but I haven’t really found this necessary.

Now, one of the upsides to having a Nook is that you have service available locally at any Barnes and Noble. However, while I was checking out the Nook, two customers came in for help downloading an update for their Nook Color, and the service person said, “well, we’ve never done this before, but we’ll see if we can figure it out.” Again, could have been just the store or the person, but it didn’t exactly inspire confidence in their in-store service.

That said, there are some perks to the Nook that I was still really excited about. You can borrow ebooks from your local library! Except my library doesn’t currently have this capability, and the Kindle will be getting this capability sometime in the fall. Since this is about when my library will be able to lend ebooks, this was pretty much a moot point for me.

Another awesome perk to the Nook is that you can read any ebook, regardless of cost, for free for up to an hour a day in any Barnes and Noble store! This is truly an awesome thing, except for the fact that I have about an hour a month to myself where I could go read in a Barnes and Noble. And, seeing as I like to read one book at a time, I wouldn’t be able to get much reading done. This would be awesome if I had no kids, kids in school, a lunch break, a kid who would be entertained on their own in Barnes and Noble, or kids out of the house. Again, a moot point for me.

Honestly, the kicker really was the navigation. While I think the Nook navigation is good, and would work for some (most?) people, I could tell within ten minutes of using it that it would consistently drive me nuts. And if it drove me nuts, I wasn’t going to use it.

And, while I ultimately chose the Kindle, what I really wanted was a dedicated ereader with a touch screen. One does exist, made by Sony, but it is not easy to upload books to and doesn’t have a large selection of books available in it’s preferred format, so I would need to convert books. While I think I have the tech savvy to do all of that, I wanted something I could turn on, grab books, and read. Not to mention the Sony costs twice what the Kindle does. Interestingly, the Nook saleslady told me I should buy my Nook in store so they could help me register it and get started, because if I ordered one online and couldn’t register it, they couldn’t help me. Frankly, that seems a little ludacris to me and more like a ploy to get me to buy from her, in store, and  I wonder if this is true. My Kindle came pre-registered to my Amazon account and I could download books for it while it was enroute to my house. It seems like if I already had a Barnes and Noble account my Nook would automatically be registered to it – right? This wasn’t a make or break decision for me, so I didn’t bother to look into more, but it seems strange. (I hope it doesn’t seem like I’m bashing the Nook. I really think it’s a great product and I understand why so many people love it. But, for the reasons I listed it wasn’t for me, and I’m hoping that this helps people with similar situations and preferences to mine when they try to decide which ereader is best for them.)

At any rate, the Kindle is now at home with me, and I am loving it! It came partially charged and finished charging in about two hours. It’s been two weeks and I haven’t charged it once. I’ve been getting books via Amazon’s website on my laptop, then turn the Kindle’s wireless on, sync, and bam! books! The whole thing takes less than five minutes, which I love. I can also purchase books directly from my Kindle as long as there’s wireless, but I haven’t done this yet since purchasing online and syncing is so easy. I have, however, used the wireless in Barnes and Noble to see if I book I saw was available on my Kindle and that was super easy.

I’ve also been happy with the selection of free books. Thus far, I’ve only spent 99 cents on a book – everything else I’ve downloaded was free! The battery also seems to have a long life. In two weeks and a book and a half, I’ve only used maybe a quarter of my battery life.

So, to sum up my very long review: the Nook is a great product, but just wasn’t for me. The Sony reader is my dream reader, but not practical for what I was looking for. I’m loving my Kindle!

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