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Archive for June, 2011

My birthday was Saturday, and we celebrated all weekend. While having my family with me was the best present, I have to admit that the Nook Color they gave me is wonderful! I’ve gotten very little done this week besides figuring out how to work it and reading book reviews.

Having never used an e-reader, I wisely read the Quick Start guide online before I turned on my Nook Color. It was easy to understand, so I had no problems getting registered and ready to read.

B&N pre-loaded my Nook Color with Little Women, Dracula, and Pride and Prejudice, along with some sample chapters from a couple of modern books. None of those interest me, so I’ve spent hours scrolling through the Nook Store looking for books I might actually want to read. With so many to choose from, you’d think I could have loaded up my e-reader within minutes—but so far I have picked out 8 full books and a few samples. All but 4 were free.

There are lots of reviews on the Web covering the pros and cons of buying the Color Nook, and as a non-techie I can’t add to or dispute any of their claims. For those who want a reader’s opinion, however, here are a few things I like about it and a few I don’t:

AWESOME:

  • It’s beautiful!
  • The colors make my shopping easier because I’m attracted (or not) by the book covers. Several of my purchases were books whose covers caught my attention as I scrolled through the store.
  • The buttons are easy to figure out and I’ve not had any problems navigating the screens. This really doesn’t require much skill to use.
  • The Search screen makes it easy to find books by author or title, or I can browse by categories.
  • Each book has sample chapters I can download before making up my mind whether or not to buy a book. This lets me see if I like the writer’s style, gives me a better idea of what the book is about, and also lets me see if there are major problems with the formatting or navigation. This is especially helpful on the nonfiction books where I want to be able to go directly to certain chapters rather than read the whole thing from beginning to end.
  • Most books have customer reviews that let me know when there are big problems with editing, or if the book is a reprint rather than a new release. (Some books show a published date for 2011 or 2010 but don’t show that the original copyright was much earlier.) This is helpful as some of my favorite authors have written so many books I can’t remember which ones I’ve already read. I would have purchased several thinking they were new releases except for the comments in the reviews alerting me to the fact they were older books.
  • I can adjust the brightness of the screen to read in low light without distracting the people around me. This is perfect for times other family members are watching movies I’m not interested in, or for reading my e-Bible at church.

NOT SO AWESOME:

  • The screen is really, really touchy. When scrolling through lists, I often touch the titles in such a way that a book I’m not interested in pops up. I have to tap the x in the corner to close it out, and that’s so close to the Buy button that a few times I’ve hit it by accident.  If you double click on the Buy button, you’ve bought the book as it switches from Buy to Confirm after the first click. The second click downloads it and charges your account for the book.
  • It didn’t come loaded with the recent major program upgrade. The B&N site said the upgrade would be automatic, but after 3 days I still didn’t have it. I was able to follow the instructions for manually upgrading by loading the program on my laptop and sending it to my Nook Color via a USB cable, but I was nervous I might mess up something. (I didn’t, though, so it’s unlikely anyone would have a problem doing it.)
  • It’s time consuming, and addictive. Browsing for books is much easier on a computer but I find myself scrolling through random categories on my Nook Color anyway. It’s so easy to download them once I locate one I want to read that I keep looking, and looking, and looking for just one more…
  • It is so thin, and the screen is so large, that I’m afraid I’ll damage it if I carry it in my purse. I’ve ordered a case for it, but that’s going to make it too bulky to fit in most of my purses.

I haven’t downloaded any apps yet. The upgrade made some interesting ones available, and I have a couple picked out to download later. One is supposed to let me view pdfs and Word documents, but since I don’t know how to get them transferred to my Nook Color there isn’t much point in buying it until I figure out the basics. The apps seem cheap to me, but I don’t know how the prices compare to those for other e-readers.

As I learn more about this, I’ll update this post to include any additional features or problems I encounter that I think might be helpful to know about. If you’re considering an e-reader, I suggest you compare this one to others on the market first. You might even prefer a tablet instead as they offer a lot more features, if price isn’t a consideration. However, I highly recommend the Nook Color for anyone primarily interested in reading books.

Here are some sites I found helpful when researching e-readers:

http://reviews.cnet.com/ebook-readers/?tag=mncol;srt&sort=popularity+asc  Reviews on CNet

http://www.the-ebook-reader.com/ebook-reader-comparison.html  Comparison Chart and Reviews

http://www.the-ebook-reader.com/nook-color.html Review of Nook Color

.EDIT JULY 11, 2011: I still love my Nook Color, but I’m disappointed that the battery doesn’t hold a charge nearly as long as I had expected. I read, at most, 4 or 5 hours a day and have to leave it plugged in or recharge it within 3 days. (Edited to add that I’ve been reading for longer periods, and have to charge it daily. Oh, well. It’s still my favorite toy!)

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Do you have an e-reader? If so, which one do you use, and are you happy with it? Do you have any tips to share regarding buying or using an e-reader? If you’ve used the Nook Color, what did you like best/least about it? Do you know how to transfer pictures from a computer to Nook Color (I don’t!)?

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