Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I own an eReader now, and it is a ... Nook

Today is my birthday and I got a Nook Simple Touch Reader as the birthday gift. I was asked which model of the eReader I prefer to. After struggling between Nook and the Amazon Kindle, at the end my vote was for the Nook Simple Touch.

The e-Ink technology is fascinating to the really enthusiastic book readers such as myself. Nook Color, despite of its richer services and colorful display, is not a suitable product for the serious book readers. Nook Color is fun and it may be a great gift for kids especially when we want to encourage them to read more. But the device is too heavy to read books heavily. The Nook Simple Touch is very light in weight and it is very comfortable to be hold in hand for long-time (such as consecutively several hours) reading. Furthermore, one must feel painful to read books using Nook Color under the bright lights such as sunshine.

Comparing to choosing between color and the e-Ink black/white, the vote between Nook and Kindle is more tricky. Both of the gadgets are great for reading the electronic books. I was much tempted to buy a Kindle. The books on Amazon are generally cheaper. Moreover, often we can find more user reviews about the books in Amazon. Besides, until now Amazon provides us more choices of the free books that are classic in literature. I must say that currently the free books provided by Barnes & Noble in Nook is significantly less than those provided by Amazon in Kindle on both of the numbers and the quality of the books.

But, I still chose a Nook!

The killer is the store. I do not mean, however, the Barnes & Noble store. What I mean is the store, a physical book store!

A book store is more than where sells books. Otherwise we may certainly replace it with the virtual stores such as Amazon. But a book store is more than selling books.

A book store is a local knowledge hub. A book store is where people are immersed into knowledge, physically! In a book store parents may pass their love of knowledge to the young generation and the children can feel it through the physical experiences. Our world is physical instead of virtual because the physical objects deliver us their embodied message that is beyond what virtual may speak.

I feel grateful that Barnes & Noble seems understand this key difference. Bound with Nook Barnes & Noble designs several in-store features that encourage people going back to their local stores. For example, Barnes & Noble allows every Nook user having one hour per day free reading of the entire Barnes & Noble eBook collections in any of their local stores. Such a feature very well balances the copy right protection and the advertisement of the genuine knowledge products. It is hard for Amazon to provide a similar service in Kindle to compete because Amazon does not have any local store. As the result, it will be equivalent of giving up the copy right protection if Kindle tries to provide a same 1-hour per day free reading service global wide.

Moreover, based on their local stores Barnes & Noble can provide many location-based special Apps in their Nook eReaders that Amazon cannot even dare to match. The recent news that Nook Color first to offer Angry Birds with location-based extras is another great example how Barnes & Noble may eventually defeat Amazon in the field of the electronic book selling.

To the end, virtual is not going to replace the real world unconditionally. The future of our society will be a balance between the digitized and globalized virtual world and the physical and local reality world. Nook is such a product that is originated based on this balance. Therefore, I decided to choose Nook. And I recommend it to all the Thinking Space readers.

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