Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Bougie Tech Review: Kindles, Nooks & Tablets


I have to admit, when e-readers first came out, I wasn't sure how I felt about them. As a reader, I like the feeling of a book in my hand. I like the smell of old books. I like turning pages. I like cracking the spine and setting the book on the nightstand for the evening. I like hardbacks and paperbacks and glossy magazines. 

As an author, I definitely earn more from a print book than a digital edition. And there were questions about how lending worked and the integrity of the formatting on e-readers. I just wasn't sold on the technology.

Until I picked one up. I'll admit it. I was instantly seduced. I'm a voracious reader. If I have time, I'll squeeze in two - three books a week. The ability to carry twenty books at a time without running to the bookstore - it got me. Reading an author, loving their work and then downloading everything they've ever written sold me. So much so that I had to establish a spending limit for myself. Once I took the dive...

We are an e-reading family. Amongst the BougieExtendedFam we have 3 Kindles, a Kindle Fire, 3 Nooks, a Galaxy Tab and an iPad. David just got the Nook Tablet, I just got the Kindle Fire in addition to my regular Kindle. I have both the Nook app and the Kindle app on my PC as I am equal opportunity. C|Net had a great article comparing what's out there. But here are my thoughts:

If you just like to read without bells and whistles - get a basic Kindle or a Simple Touch Nook. They are easy to use and have super-long battery life. The edge that basic Kindle has over the Nook is the link to Shelfari which gives you all sorts of back info about the book, for instance - if it is number 3 in the middle of a 7-part series. I found this invaluable when trying to catch up on the Alex Cross series. I need to be handheld from book 8 to 9 to 10.

The Nook has the advantage of having a store and associates to go with it. When you walk into a Barnes & Noble with your Nook, it welcomes you home and you have all sorts of specials and freebies gifted to you for coming in. As you know, Amazon is all about the virtual. If you need help with your Kindle you have to call in and play the customer service game.

I think both the Nook Tablet and the Kindle Fire are fun. They are both interactive and loaded with a ton of stuff that has nothing to do with reading. The Kindle Fire is Android powered which I preferred because it synced with my phone and Google-isms with ease. But the Nook Tablet has better battery life.

If you are Team Amazon you pretty much have to go Kindle. All of my music, movies, tv shows and books loaded onto the Kindle Fire. [If someone ever hacks the Google/Amazon cloud - I'm done for] While I was on vacation, I found that I still preferred my basic Kindle just to read. If I read on the Fire, I'm always distracted by my email, UberTwitter, and Facebook updates not to mention the multiple games and apps I've downloaded.

My sister got the Galaxy Tab for Christmas. She also has a first generation Nook. She downloaded the Nook app onto her tablet but also preferred to take the trusty old Nook to the beach. My older brother has the iPad and uses it for everything.

So what does it all mean? I like them both. The costs are pretty comparable. I lean towards the Kindle because my comfort zone is there but I've got no beef with the Nook. As a writer, I say buy them both and put my books on them. Now. Today. Here you go:

Barnes&Noble.com
What say you BougieLand? Who has an e-reader or a tablet? What flavor? What do you like? What would you change? Do share...

52 comments:

maxfab said...

I got some kind of Sony e-reader for Christmas from one of my sales reps. I want to like it, but so far I'm still meh. I need the feel and smell of books. I like dogears and dust covers and author photos and all of that. I just can't get into the groove of this thing. 

GammasWorld said...

I don't have either yet but based on your comments and others,  I'll probably be going with the basic Kindle.  I'm too distracted as it is with all this connectedness ... I need something that just lets me do one thing I enjoy without interruption.   I'm not a fan of the B&N stores so I guess I'll be Team Amazon. 

maureen said...

As a reader I prefer books on  my hand too. I have been thinking of getting Kindle Fire for text books. Text books are over priced on these streets.

tiffanyinhouston said...

I have a Nook Color (the Nook Tablet is the successor) that is modded out with an SD card that runs Android Gingerbread on it so I get all the capabilities of a full Android tablet (much like Chele's sister's Galaxy Tab).  I bought my mama the Nook Simple Touch for Christmas.

If you don't mind a year old product, I say go with the Nook Color. It's a bit slower than the Nook Tablet but cheaper ($199) and you can find them on ebay and buy.com cheaper than that. I could go on and on about readers and tablets all day, so I won't. I will just drop a few links of interest.

The first one talks about the Nook2Android SD card I bought:
http://theunemployedbride.wordpress.com/2011/10/19/taking-a-tech-shortcut/

The second one is links to free/cheap e-books for book Nooks and Kindles:
http://theunemployedbride.wordpress.com/2011/07/28/bookworm/

I'm yo pusha......

Leon X said...

What I like best about my Kindle (re-christened the Kindle Keyboard) is its simplicity. It allows you to read books sans the extra stuff. I end up reading web pages I push to my Kindle more than I read the books I have. I also highly recommend anyone with an e-reader to download and install Calibre to your computer. This software allows you to convert any e-reader file to your desired format. http://calibre-ebook.com/

ichoosethesun said...

I cannot live without my 1st Gen iPad but I, too, prefer to read my books on my 3rd Gen Kindle ;-)

Jubi The Great said...

I got a Nook color last year & I absolutely love it. I can throw it in my bag & take it with me everywhere. I can tweet, watch movies, check email, hit the FB & do other things with it. I haven't rooted mine yet but I plan to.

I haven't heard good things abt the Kindle Fire at all. Not that I was in the market for one tho.

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

I have none of the above, but I do have a funny story about the Nook.

Someone who is attempting to get back in my good graces sent me rather large box from B&N.  The outside of the box said Nook Color all over it.  The inner box said Nook Color all over it.  The receipt was smudged, but the price of the item was the price of a basic Nook.  I got all excited, but then worried, because I didn't know if I should accept the present or not.  The inner box sat unopened for a week while I sought counsel as to whether to accept the gift or not.  I finally opened the inner box, and was both pleasantly surprised and ashamed to find a leather bound dictionary in the inner box.

bashowell said...

I read.  A lot.  2-3 books a day on weekends and 2 during the week is not unusual for me.  And I must own all my books - no library.  So I love the feel of an actual book.  However I have been considering for a couple of years purchasing a Kindle.  It's always been the Kindle - never the Nook Color.  I don't know why since I usually gravitate toward shiny, pretty touchscreeny things.  I was going to buy the Kindle last year until I heard the rumors about the Kindle Fire on the tech nerd blogs.  So I waited.  I'll be purchasing the Kindle Fire sometime in the next few months, I think.  While actual books will always be my first choice, e-books are great for my morning and evening commutes and vacations.

michaeldavis said...

I'm still old-school, with my well-worn library card in my wallet. I embrace technology but never came around to the  e-readers.

SouthernWes said...

I have an iPhone and an iPad, the wife has an Android phone and a Kindle Fire which runs on Android. Both of us are happy with them but neither one of us are completely willing to give up the feel of new hardback. But I have to admit, for vacation the e-readers were a lifesaver. Our flight was delayed four hours. We gave the kids the tablets and some headphones - done.

invectiva said...

I'm an apartment dweller with over 700 (mostly silly) books, so ebooks seem like a good idea for me, especially as I can suck down three books in a day or two if not careful. As far as a reader, I think I might actually get myself a Kindle of some sort. I'm a musician, so I bought an iPad 2 last year for use on stage, and I've got the Kindle app and iBook on that. However, I think that something about reading from the iPad at night before bed keeps me from falling asleep. No hard data on that yet, just a sneaking suspicion that I am More Brain Active with my face next to a lit screen than with a book in my hand. If the Kindle can change that for me, I may make that my next-to-bed reader.

I read anything from Gutenberg Project with the iBook interface, and now purchase most of my literary potato chips on Amazon through the Kindle app. Both apps could use some interface help; searching for titles or authors is a total drag, because (at least in public domain) there is not a lot of great quality control or standards on how to fill title or author fields. Even on Amazon, though, I've bought (more expensive than print copy) e-versions of quite a number of books I already own, and sometimes it's great that I already knew the story or I'd be totally confused by the words in the books that don't make any sense.

The whole author cut of ebook sales thing annoys the heck outta me. It ought to cost the publishers less to produce them, so the authors should be getting more of a cut. And don't even get me started on Amazon's arbitrary pricing that doesn't benefit the producers of the work. No bueno.

bashowell said...

Yeah I'm on that books and apartment life struggle, myself.  Currently bookshelf shopping and hoping they'll fit in my room.

blackprofessor said...

Team real books!  I still like the feel of real books and can't fathom the idea of an e-reader.  The day books stop being printed is the day I will switch over. 

JohnKinPDX said...

I had the Kindle app on my laptop and it irritated me so I did a full comparison this year of the Kindle Fire versus the Nook Tablet.  Ended up going with the Kindle due to most of the reasons you talked about - I'm already pretty Google/Android/Amazon centric and it made sense to keep it that way. I've been especially pleased with download speeds for movies and music.

TrulyPC said...

I love real books but got a reader as a gift last year and I do like it because it is great for commutes or traveling.  I don't like distractions so I doubt that I will ever want anything but the basic for reading purposes.

aishao1122 said...

im amazon everything, i have the app on the laptop, loaded it on the phone until i got rid of my windows phone, but I may also get an ipad, my cousin let me try hers that her husband got her for christmas and it's the best thing EVER. I however still love the feel, scent, of books in my hand so i will combine the two, books with covers i can't let my mama see go on the ereader, other no embarrassing books i get in paperback lol

aishao1122 said...

i love the heck outta Calibre, they are totally AWESOME!!!

Penny said...

I have a Kindle and an iPad, and I love both-but not enough to give up actual physical books.  For some books, an e-version just won't do.   I have the first generation iPad, and I hate that I can't use it outside in the sun.  You never have that problem with a physical book.  I have a third generation Kindle, and I don't like the absence of page numbers-using location numbers to try and find a section in the e-book is a pain.  Since I have an i-Pad, the Kindle fire doesn't hold much appeal for me-plus there is a Kindle app on the iPad.  I like the iBook interface on the iPad, but Amazon bookstore has a much wider selection than iBooks.

Earthangel172 said...

My daughter, a self-proclaimed readaholic, has the basic Kindle. I have Kindle for PC but I may just break down and get a basic Kindle. I enjoy having a book in my hand but on the other hand, it is so much easier to read 2-3 books in 2 days when you have a Kindle readily available.

Pure Choco said...

I got the simple nook for Christmas. Love it.

Jazzy Jazz said...

I keep saying that I wont get an e- reader ... but more and more I am looking at the Kindle and the ipad2. I have an ipod touch , and I have both the Nook app and the Kindle app installed. I will admit, its a lot easier to just carry my ipod with me- its with me most of the time anyway. I will continue to buy books , but I will also keep a few books on my ipod for those unexpected moments. Im also considering buying textbooks this semester on the ipod- much cheaper that way 

thinklikeRiley said...

Just noticed that I can subscribe to BnB on my Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0032JSNAA?ie=UTF8&tag=blanbou-20&link_code=as3&camp=211189&creative=373489&creativeASIN=B0032JSNAA
You're bigtime. Can I post comments from that version?

Foxy Brown said...

i have a kindle. i love it.  it was a birthday present because i would never actually buy one cause i love holding books.  i love that i get bnb on the kindle, as well as magazines that i read on a consistent basis.  i also love that the classics are free.  i hate that i can see what other people are underlining.  sometimes the formatting is a little strange.  i like my kindle for reading purposes.  i don't want the bells and whistles.  i just wanna read.

Foxy Brown said...

i don't think so.  i can't even see the comments, just the post itself. but please don't take my word for it cause i barely know how to use my kindle.

JoycelynC said...

I broke down and bought an ipad 2 when I was doing some work traveling and seriously considering buying both a Kindle and a netbook.  It is great for trips, especially since I hate checking luggage and books take up valuable packing space.  So far so good with the Kindle app.  I did put your books on there as well.  One of my first purchases. 

Suebhoney said...

Being an avid reader, I read at least 2-3 books a week and have been known to do about 5 on a good weekend. I have the Kindle 2nd generation, and I really like it. I am however contemplating the Kindle Fire, but I don't want the interruptions (email, fb, etc). I love the ease in which I can get my books when they first come out instead of waiting for my 2 day for Amazon to deliver. I also still buy books, (because like Chele, I have sometimes have a book in my hand)I try not to buy too many, because with upwards of 400 books in my possession I have run out of room. I refuse to give away. And with my book budget being stretched wayyyy past it's limit, I like that the digital books are *sometimes* very economical, and also I can be introduced to new authors on the scene and not be highly upset if I paid alot for the book and I did not like it. And since Borders went out of business I come to depend on my kindle even more. I don't do B&N at anytime (since the whole Obama/Curious George thing) so Amazon is pretty much where I'll stay.

md_KG said...

Seeing as I already owned an HTC Sensation (Android phone) & 2 MacBooks (work & home), I definitely did not need another LCD screen in my life so a 'basic' e-ink e-reader was undoubtedly the way to go. Also, I just wanted a device that would enable me to read without any distractions, hence the Nook.

I had the 1st generation for a few months last year then upgraded to the 2nd generation soon after and I love it even more. I chose the Nook because: 1. I didn't want to be tied to Amazon's ecosystem based on their azw DRM-ed format. I can buy epubs from any ebook retailer and put it on my Nook  2. The shape & feel of the Nook Touch felt better.

Calibre, like Leon X mentioned, has been an ebook management godsend. I also use it to convert ebooks I buy from Amazon. Goodreads is also another addiction...Lol.

And yes Chele, I do have Heard It All Before & Sweet Little Lies on my Nook. They have earned permanent spots on my Nook shelf...Lol. I'm waiting oh so patiently for Pretty Boy Problems *rubs hands with glee*

md_KG said...

But doesn't Calibre only convert non-DRM files?

Earthangel172 said...

"i also love that the classics are free."

I love this as well! My daughter loves Alice in Wonderland so that was the first book she downloaded to her Kindle.

GuessImJay said...

I don't read a lot of books, I read a lot of magazines and newspapers. I got the iPad and I have the Kindle app on it. It will do.

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

Not looking to buy an e-reader yet, but the basic Kindle sounds like the one for me. No bells or whistles, just books? Niiiice.

motown_skater said...

i'm with blackprofessor the day they stop printing books i'll purchase an e-reader. BUT if by chanc i succumb to societal pressure i do want to thank you all for saving me time, research and money b/c i'll just get the basic kindle to do want i want which is just read....

CaliGirlED said...

I'm thinking about buying a Kindle/Kindle Fire. So when you guys are speaking of distractions (on the Fire), do you mean that alerts just pop up, or that you have the ability to open up your email, twitter, etc., and therefore are distracted because they're accessible?

tishatweets said...

*Long post alert. I love to read. Sue me.*
 
I had a Nook Color when they first came out. I liked it. Rooted it and liked it even better. But...I had a love/hate (which is now a hate/hate) relationship with the Android OS. So, I sold that and used the money to go toward the purchase of an iPad 2. I have both the Kindle and Nook apps on my iPad and it does everything I need it to do.
 
I never, ever thought I'd be the person to have an e-reader, though I love to read and generally finish at least a book a week--even with a full time gig, a part time gig, a 4.5 year old and, you know, a life. LOL. The reason I felt this way is because part of my love affair with books is about the cover...the heft...the pages turning...even the smell of a new book (weird, no?). So, me and my library card were down for whatever. LOL
 
Until I actually played with the Nook Color. And then I thought about the benefits to reading an e-book. I could have a bunch of books with no infringement upon my already handicapped bookshelf, I could read at night without having to have the lamp on (I read myself to sleep a lot so having to turn the lamp off riiiiight when I'm about to doze off kind of defeats the purpose), I could read a book instantly without even leaving the house (!!!), etc. etc. So, I go the Nook.
 
Now I go back and forth. There are times when I just need to hold a book. So, off to the library I go. There are other times where I appreciate all of the things I aforementioned about the e-reader and I search for something to buy or download on iBooks (or Nook...haven't used Kindle yet). Just depends on what I'm feeling.
 
Lastly, I bought my daughter a Kindle Fire for Christmas (she can read at the level of about a third grader so this wasn't an outlandish purchase for her). She liked it, and I did too--until I realized that Amazon doesn't password protect their purchases. So...she could have downloaded all kinds of stuff to her heart's content and I wouldn't know until I checked my bank account. #notokay. So, I took it back. I liked the format, the style, and especially the price. So if they fix this I'll likely buy it for her again. She can read, play games, and watch all the stuff she likes on YouTube, so it's a definite win.

tishatweets said...

I'm not sure because the distractions weren't a hinderance for me, but most (if not all of them) can be turned off.

Jade said...

I LOVE traditional books, especially paperbacks, but e-readers are just convenient and cool.  I have a Nook Color which I absolutely love.  It's so nice to be able to carry several books on one device.  And I like that once downloaded B&N keeps a record if you ever lose it for any reason. 

My Mom just got me an iPad 2 for Christmas so now I can read B&N e-books on the Nook, and Amazon e-books on the iPad.  So now I have the best of both worlds.  But I do still buy many traditional books...mainly paperbacks because hardback hurts my hands.

 

Jade said...

Nook has a feature to set the password on any purchases.  You might consider a Nook Color or Tablet for your daughter.  I have the Color and it's password protected after my nephew accidentley ordered a book on it.

BB Waite said...

You can protect the purchases on a Kindle Fire, it's in account settings on line. You can lock certain types and set a purchase limit. We bought for my kids and locked the heck out of them.

JoycelynC said...

This is true so long as you have a Kindle account.  I have downloaded many free classics to my ipad 2 via the kindle app

tishatweets said...

Really? Interesting. I researched it (to make sure I wasn't being just stupid, LOL) and tons of parents were taking them back for the very reason I shared. Eh. I might just get her the Nook Color and call it a day. LOL!!!!

Leon X said...

Calibre works with DRM files as well. There are other alternatives that I will not discuss here (wink wink).

Singlelif said...

I read a lot as well.  Because  I like to be engrossed in what I'm reading, with no distractions. I kept my life simple and purchased the a Sony eReader.  All it does is books and I like that.

suebhoney said...

Being and avid reader, I have the Kindle 2nd generation, I am contemplating the Kindle Fire, but not sure I want all the interruptions (email,fb,etc) I like to read in peace. I read about 2-3 books during the week and can do a good 4 on the weekend (depending on word/page count) my kindle makes it easy to get the books I want right away, and not have to wait 2 days via amazon. I do however still purchase books because sometimes I still like the feel of a book in my hands. The books are "sometimes" more economical on Kindle which allow my to get more in my book budget (which by the way is shot to hell in 2012-lol)  .  I also get introduced to a lot of new authors via kindle that I would have never purchased otherwise via Kindle, because I would be upset to pay full price for a book and then hate it. And last but not least, I have upwards of 500 or more  I have no more room for books

bashowell said...

I thought they released a software update for that password issue?  I just read something about it.

tiffanyinhouston said...

I have my NC password protected as well to prevent ME from going overboard on purchases!

GrownAzzMan said...

I LOVE books too. Hardback books. I don't even buy paperbacks. Then I got a Toshiba Thrive 10.1 for my birthday and downloaded the Kindle app. Faster then you can say iPod, I was a covert. This reminds me of when I said CD's were fine. No need to try any of the new fangled apple stuff...LOL

BklynBajan said...

Couldn't respond from my BB yesterday :(

I was part of the die hard I'll never leave books club but I finally broke down and bought a Kindle. Six months later I don't regret the purchase at all although I'd love to update to Fire so I can ditch my magazine subscriptions altogether.

Why the change? I've had to clean out houses for too many deceased people last year and tossing books was one of the unfortunate tasks. Nobody will take donations and I didn't have space the first (or desire) to keep any of them. I've since cleaned and recleaned my own space and am slowly turning my library into a space for truly treasured books. The rest can chill and be read on the Kindle. (I uploaded a lot of music to omy computer and am clearing out my CD case also. )#anticlutter2012

rhenewal said...

I was the same. Until someone gifted me with the Kindle (Keyboard). Which linked to my Amazon account, and my Chase account... leading to me accruing $200 in ebook debt in one month. I now have a spending limit. Sigh.

rikyrah said...

since Borders went bust, I'm all in with Amazon. have you signed up for Amazon Prime? is it as good a deal as it sounds in print? do you really get all those movies and tv shows with it?

OneChele said...

I have it. Love it. And yes, tons of freebies!

Sent from my Kindle Fire

_____________________________________________

Wambuig said...

I was also a member of the Love books, got to feel the pages as I turn them, love the smell of an old book CLUB up until... I had to move and had to clean out tons of books that I couldn't keep since I had no space and the fact that I can’t read the same novel twice had me reconsidering getting an E reader. Then along came Kindle fire and I was a goner before you could say BO! Long story short I love my Kindle fire and the fact that I can have both my music and bks at all times....  This Kindle Fire will be the end of me. I devour bks esp when I discover an author and can have access to all their work at the click of my Kindle... life is golden!

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