Gramps and his new Nook

Poor ol’ Gramps. No iPhone, no iPod, no iPad. Stuck in the mid-20th century. So I guess my grandson, Nicholas, figured it was time for Gramps–that’s me–to “get with it.” Thus, he presented me with a Nook eReader for Christmas.

For those of you as technology challenged as I, a Nook is Barnes & Noble’s answer to the Kindle.

I mentioned in an earlier blog that I probably should become more conversant with eReaders, since EYEWALL will be promoted heavily in e-format.

I’ll have to admit that I was a bit apprehensive as I began to push buttons and touch screens on my Nook. How could this little electronic and plastic slab ever pretend to challenge “real” books?

Well, there was only one way to find out. So the day after Christmas I downloaded my first book. Apparently, so did ten million other people. It took several hours–not the advertised seconds–for the book to appear in my electronic library.

I made sure I picked a book I’d be certain to like, so that if I were disappointed by the reading experience, I could legitimately blame it on the Nook, not the book. So a Daniel Silva novel, The Rembrandt Affair, became my test vehicle of choice. Silva is one of my favorite novelists. List price for his hardcover: $26.95. Nook price: $12.99.

Cutting to the chase, I love the book, I love my Nook. Here’s the no-BS bottom line: the Nook is easier to read than most “dead tree” books. The type face, font size (which can be changed) and line spacing make reading a pleasure. I took to the Nook immediately.

My eyes don’t tire as quickly as they do when reading a traditional book. I can balance the Nook on my tummy at night in bed (not hold it aloft, as I must a paperback). I can rest it on my lap while sitting in a chair. That way my wife can’t tell whether I’m reading or nodding off. (Mostly nodding off.)

The Nook has some really neat features like an embedded dictionary. If I come to a word I don’t know, I press “look up word” and highlight it. It’s a heck of a lot easier than having to go in search of my Merriam-Webster’s, which in most cases I probably wouldn’t bother doing. The Nook also has games and audio and other stuff I’m not interested in but that probably would appeal to younger generations.

There are a few drawbacks. I miss seeing a full-sized book cover (the Nook has a little thumbnail image of the cover); I miss reading jacket blurbs; and I miss seeing a photo of the novelist. But maybe those are just writer things. And they don’t come close to outweighing the very positive reading experience.

The biggest negative: shopping on the Nook. I hate it. It’s slow and cumbersome. So I plan to choose my books on-line or in a book store, then use my Nook only to order–and to read, of course–what I want.

“You like your new Nook, Gramps?” Nicholas asked

“Love it, kid. You did good. How do I look in the 21st century?”

“You need an iPod.”

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