I read a lot of reports, assessments, etc in .pdf format and like many people hate reading lengthy documents on the computer. Of course printing them out isn’t particularly practical and is incredibly wasteful. So, I decided to take the plunge and splurge in one of those fancy eBook readers. It may not have been the wisest decision to make since these readers are a still new technology and standards are still being fought over (and the price may drop significantly in the next year) but I figured I’d be one of the ‘early adopters’ or ‘early majority‘.
So, I picked up a nook from Barnes and Nobel and have been playing around with it for a couple of weeks now.
It’s got a pretty easy set up. Out of the box, plug it in and turn it on and you’re pretty much ready to go. You can add and delete files from the nook by dragging and dropping via explorer but you really need an ebook management software program fairly soon. Nook seems to recommend Adobe Digital Editions but don’t waste your time.
At some point you’re probably going to want to convert documents from one format to epub or something similar so that you can use all the functions of the nook (notes and highlighting for me). I found a freeware program called Calibre which is quite good at both management and conversion, although it won’t synch notes/bookmarks and such between the nook and the reader on my PC.
The nook is small and lightweight (it fits within my jacket pocket), making carrying it around easy and much more convenient than lugging that 200 page pdf I’d normally have and it’s memory capacity (2GB internal, upgradable by another 16GB) means that I will not have a problem in terms of space for documents and books.
It plays mp3 files if you wanted to add music or set it up for audio books but I’m not sure how much use I’ll get out of that feature since I already have an mp3 player for those and it’s small enough carry along with the nook, if needed (one more item and you’ll need a utility belt. eds.).
Barnes and Nobel seems to be doing it’s best to support the nook through a bit of free daily content (one humorous article and one on general literature) and regular updates on free content or special deals.
You’ve got enough flexibility in terms of font and size to satisfy just about everyone and reportedly holds a charge for up to 10 days. Up to this point I’ve gone three days with it either in ‘sleep’ or active mode without a charge and it kept well over three-quarters of it’s charge.
There are tons of free ebooks out there (project Gutenburg has got more stuff then I’ll ever be able to get to) so even if you never buy an electronic book you’ll be more than busy trying to get to all those classics you’ve always meant to read but never got around to.
So, if you’re interested in an eBook reader, the nook (so far) seems to be a quite good choice.