Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Chapter 2: In Which Dinah Veritably Salivates Over the Nook

Introduction and Prologue
Chapter 1: The Rise of the eReader

At this point in the story, you may be thinking about just how fickle I seem to be. Why did I give up on the idea of an eReader with the Kindle around but immediately transfer my former feelings for the Kindle to what amounts to a different version of the same thing?

It sounds petty, but I can’t deny that a major attraction for me was the Barnes & Noble name. I have been going to Barnes & Noble stores my entire life and have always loved the atmosphere, the new book smell, the chairs provided for sitting and reading, and the overall helpfulness of the employees. Most of their employees are also great lovers of books and tend to provide fun and interesting suggestions based on what I’m browsing, carrying, or reading a few pages from. I have rarely been disappointed with a recommendation from a Barnes & Noble employee.

Another aspect of it being a Barnes & Noble eReader that made it so attractive is the fact that there are plenty of physical locations that I can go to at a moment’s notice. Once the Nook was officially released, there were tables set up in almost every Barnes & Noble store where there was an employee waiting to answer your questions and there were Nooks on display waiting for you to try them out.

Oh! The glory of that first time I held a Nook in my hands!
It was so much smaller, sleeker, and more attractive than the Kindle (which I had seen first-hand by this point). The touch screen made a world of difference to the overall desirability. There was a beta web browser, there were games, and there was the option to browse your books by viewing the covers. This option alone made a huge impact on me. One thing I absolutely love about physical books is the cover art. While I’d still be able to see it in black and white on the Kindle, the Nook made up for the loss of color by providing it! Yeah, that’s right, Kindle. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it!

I found myself dropping by the Barnes & Noble store in town more often than was customary of even me. I would first stop at the Nook table, chat it up with the employee there, repeat any number of conversations reminding me why the Nook was a clear superior to the Kindle (and any other eReader, in my opinion), play with the display Nooks, browse the rest of the store for a few minutes, and then I would leave. After a while, some of the employees that frequented the Nook table came to know me by name. If they personally owned one, they would tell me how much they loved it. If they didn’t, we would commiserate over our mutual desire.

During all this, I started paying close attention to my emails from Barnes & Noble. I came to realize that a number of the emails (especially around the holidays) would contain links to entire sets of eBooks temporarily made available for free. That is how I came to begin building my eBook library. I also discovered Free eBook Fridays on the blog, another way to grow my collection.

By this point, I knew it was only a matter of time until I became a proud owner of a Nook.

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