As a bookseller, I run into the dilemma of “Nook versus Book” all the time. Customers coming up to the Nook counter will ask how it compares to reading a book while avid hard-copy-book-readers will vehemently tell me between the shelves about how ereaders can never compare to what a real book feels like. The older customers in the latter group will then proceed to drop some line about a generation gap and “kids these days…” all the while forcing me to nod my head politely and agree with them until a certain point. There’s a fine line I have to toe because I work in a store that sells both ereaders and books. However, I never lie to any customer about my feeling on the subject.
Personally, I think that both the Nook and the Book have special places in this world. I own a Nook Simple Touch and own enough books to take up four shelves. I like to think that I have found that coveted middle ground between Nooks and Books. (I don’t know if you’ve noticed yet, but I’m having fun using both terms in a proper noun setting) My roommate can attest to seeing me curled up on the couch with my Nook, reading something I found on the internet for free and then, the very next day, see me on that same couch with a Book, flipping through the pages and eating up every single word the author has placed before me. Why do I use both? Because I can.
I originally got the Nook because I was losing my job at the beloved Borders and needed a way to get books cheaply since my employee discount days were over. The Nook offered me free classics books and showed me other ebooks that were available for well under their hardcopy price. This wasn’t to say that I chucked Books out the window. As the last sale days came to an end, I walked out with $800 worth of hardcopy books that I am currently plowing through (see How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe review). I just used my pending unemployment days as an excuse to give the e-reading world a shot.
The Nook/ereader does several things for the student reader (take “student” as a loose term). You can highlight lines, look-up words, write notes without damaging the pages, and place several bookmarks on your favorite scenes. The wind is no longer your nemesis! Since you’re not paying for paper, you don’t have to fork over as much money (unless it’s a new book) and still get as much enjoyment from the content as you would reading a Book. A book is a book is a book. Nothing changes. The author’s words are still as magical in digital form as they are in paper form.
However, the Book is still epic.
My personal favorite aspect of a book is the weight. I like feeling the weight of the book on both hands which tell me how much more of the book is left. Also, I’m a horribly fidgety person (hence, the name of the blog) so playing with the pages absent-mindedly awesome. I also like having real books on a real bookshelf. Bookshelves are the prettiest piece of furniture in my opinion. Beds come in a close second. Having books on a shelf works as a great conversation starter. For example, someone can see The Secret Garden on my shelf and we can then break into a fantastic discussion not only of the book, but of children’s books and gardens and England.
So, as you can see, there are many pros to both Nooks and Books. I see no cons personally, but that’s probably why I am able to stay in the coveted middle ground between Books and Nooks. I say to you all skeptics of the technology “threatening” books today, please don’t see it as a threat. Books will always be here. Do you notice that people are still selling vinyls when we though CDs would take over? Exactly. Nooks are Books. They just look a little different.
Oh. And for those wondering why no Kindle? I’m not an Amazon fan. I like my bookstores where I can see them. 😛