Plug in your book

Last night I got an email from B&N advertising the Nook. It’s due to come out in November, so loyal B&N customers got a preview. Um, that thing is hot. I never once considered getting an e-reader, but I definitely considered it after getting a look at the Nook. While I’m sure Wired magazine will have a comprehensive and exhaustive comparison of all the e-readers out there, here’s my less-comprehensive one.


1) Cost: Nook $259, Kindle $259 (reduced from $359 earlier this year), Sony Reader $299.

2) Pretty: Nook, Kindle and Sony Reader below, in that order.

nookkindleSony reader






3) Visuals: The Nook is advertised as an easy-to read screen. Some Kindle 2 owners downgraded to Kindle because the K2’s screen gave them headaches. I’m not sure about the Sony Reader. Both Kindle and the Sony Reader are grayscale screens, while Nook has a color touch screen. Color!

4) Nook has a variety of covers to choose from, some from fancy designers like Kate Spade. You can also switch out the back of your Nook for 4 different back cover options. Sony has 3 color options: silver, black and red. Kindle has none. On Nook, you can also upload pictures to use as a screensaver.

5) Sony Reader owners can get expandable memory through a Sony memory stick. The Kindle has no card slots or expandable memory. Nook comes with less built-in memory than Kindle, but with a card slot, the memory far outlasts both the Kindle and the Sony Reader.

6) Sony Reader and Kindle will last 14 days on a single charge. Nook lasts 10.

7) You can sync your Kindle with your iPhone and iPod Touch. You can sync your nook with your iPhone, iPod Touch, Blackberry, PC, or Mac OS computer.

8) You can mark pages and make notes on your Nook. You can even loan your books to friends.

9) Kindle has Digital Text Platform which allows authors to upload their books directly to Kindle and set their own price for purchase. Authors get 35% of their list price for every book sold. As far as I can tell, neither Sony Reader nor Nook have this capability. However, I don’t think you need to own a Kindle to be able to do this, but anyone you’re planning to sell your book to needs to have one.


All that is fine and well, but they’re all missing the obvious: a school application. Every day my daughter struggles home with several textbooks, workbooks, etc. How great would it be if all her textbooks could be on one reader? Then she’d have a lighter load, and all her work would be in one place. Smaller and lighter than a laptop (which has become de rigeur in cutting-edge education) and possibly much cheaper if it’s only limited to a few titles. Students can borrow the Readers at the beginning of the school year, use them, and return them at the end of the year for the next class. Even if I had to pay to rent one at the beginning of the year for my kid, I would. Happily. In any case, many textbook companies are trying to embrace online content so that they can update textbooks, especially Social Studies/History and Science books with the latest information. Wouldn’t it be great for kids to get the news every day? The news! Imagine! Right in their classrooms!

So let’s get on that, guys! Corner the educational market and make parents happy and students’ backs less strained.

It makes me want to get back in the educational publishing game. Whoops. Nope. The feeling’s gone.

Oh well.