E-bookin’ it.

We are test-driving a new Nook Color, courtesy of our friends at Barnes & Noble to check out its capabilities, usefulness, ease of operation, and just how friendly it might be to those of us here (ahem!) who are truly digital diplodocuses (diplodoci? I really have to look that up).

As we are shoes-in-concrete, true-blue, Gutenberg-style, old-world bibliophiles, it nevertheless seemed that we ought to extract a foot out of one of those cemented shoes and stick at least one toe a little deeper into the waters of the future (well, okay, the Now, to be honest about it) and see how we might fare. I began this weekend, and as the Nook Color also has web capability, I wanted to see how accessible and readable the new Bloomswebsite might be. Busdriver’s weekend, I guess. And it was lovely.

After a bit of struggle connecting the Nook to my wireless—diplodocus, remember?—it was done, and I spent a curious while touch-screening around to see what was intuitive and what was not. Then, as my father always used to admonish, I finally read the instructions. Don’t you hate to admit that your father is right?

The Nook screen is readily responsive, sometimes a bit too touchy at times, and I fell down one rabbit-hole after another more times than I care to recount. With so many different devices around, using different ways to perform the same tasks (Crackberry, Mac laptop, PC desktop, and 14 different remote controls just to watch television (off-topic: has anyone ever found a universal TV remote that actually works and is simple to program?), it’s taking a little time to page my way around and learn all the different rules. But for the next week, we’re going to putt-putt it around the office here (now that I’ve finally been able to connect it to the wireless) and see what we think.

The Nook Color is heavier than we expected: 1 lb. 1 oz, with a 3.25″ x 6.75″ screen size, and the battery life seems alarmingly short when I keep the screen brightness at what is a comfortable level for me. But we’re going to be fair and give ourselves time to adapt/adjust to something new before we race to a hurried conclusion.

My questions to you: How many of you use an e-reader? Which one do you use? And what do you see are the benefits/drawbacks to the e-reader you’ve invited into your home? And, of course, you can admit to being a shoes-in-concrete, true-blue, Gutenberg-style, old-world bibliophile diplodocus as well. No one here would ever blame you.

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  • vjwilder

    I’ve been reading on a Kindle since last Christmas when a friend bought one for me when I took the Luddite position. I love read books – I love the full sensory experience of them (not that I taste them, but, you know . . . ). And here’s what happened: I read more on the Kindle than I did or do in paper. I love it that I can carry one small, lightweight “thing” and have all the books I want to read – when I travel, when I move about the house, when I wait in any waiting room. I love my Kindle. And I use it only for fiction and for reading samples of non-fiction books I may want to buy. The only drawback is that I like to write in books, esp. non-fiction.

    The Kindle, like a real book, is there for reading – not for surfing the net or answering the phone. You can buy games for a Kindle, but playing them is clunky. The screen is meant to be easy on the eyes, so no more eye strain than you’d get reading a book and much less than you get reading on a computer.

    I hope you’ll post more about your experience with the Nook. I’d like to know what you think.