Thursday, March 17, 2011

But I Digress...

I've been feeling funny as a (future) e-book author with no dedicated e-book reader. Sure, I've been reading on my iPhone, and it works well, but part of me was feeling guilty.

Okay, let's be honest. I had gadget envy, and being an author was merely an excuse. So, I decided to buy a Nook Color.

I had a Sony PRS-505 many years ago, so this isn't my first reader. But I am in love. I like it more than my old 505.

Yes, I love the color. The screen is beautiful. Books look better than they did on my iPhone, and it's nice to have more words per page. I tend to go for the smallest font, which is still plenty big enough for me. Book covers are vibrant and so very pretty.

The wireless is fantastic. With my old 505, I had to plug it into my computer to load books. I can do that with the Nook Color too, but I have all my e-books archived in Dropbox, and it's easy to use the Nook browser to go to Dropbox and download my books.

I use a program called Calibre to manage my e-book library, and one of the cool features of Calibre is the ability to download newspapers and magazines. It seems like magic to me, but what I think it does is goes to the publication's website and grabs articles. It organizes them into sections, and everything is linked so navigation is a breeze. I'd tried using Calibre to download the Washington Post to my old 505 and the iPhone, but I'd never been happy with the results.

With the Nook, it's no problem. Calibre automatically downloads the Post at 7:00 AM, right when my alarm goes off. I turn on my Nook, snag the current paper from Dropbox and read away during breakfast.

Cool, eh?

What about buying Nook books? Easy and a snap. I can buy from my computer or my Nook, and the new book automatically downloads. Actually, it's almost too easy. I'll have to be careful how much I spend there.

I haven't tried a newspaper or magazine from Barnes and Noble yet, but I plan too. Still trying to figure out which one I really want. Calibre makes it so easy that I almost hate to pay money for something I can easily get for free.

What's the battery life like? About what you'd expect from a back-lit device. I get about 2 1/2 days on a charge, with fairly steady reading during my downtimes in a day. I also use Calibre to convert documents to .epub for easy reading on the Nook. I just downloaded a bunch of blog posts that I'll be using to plan tomorrow's class. So, yes, I can legitimately use my toy for work!

What about books I've bought from Amazon? No, I can't get them on the Nook, but I still have Kindle for iPhone, so it's no big deal.

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