Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Best Purchase I've Made All Year

And no...it's NOT LOST: The Complete Collection or Taylor Swift's Speak Now.

In fact, unlike LOST or Speak Now, the best purchase I've made all year wasn't pre-meditated...it was a total impulse purchase.

A few months back, Amy and I went Barnes & Noble, looking for a gluten-free cookbook for Faith. As I walked in the door, they had a kiosk set up for the purpose of pimping the Nook. Now, I'd been eye e-readers for a while, looking mostly at the Amazon Kindle. On that particular day, I had a paycheck in my pocket and our bills covered, so when the guy hit his sales pitch, I was listening.

Wouldn't have done it if Amy wasn't there, but she was, and so I did.

MAN that was a good idea.

I have read more books in the last few months than I have in the last few years. I've discovered authors (Kate Atkinson, Richard Kadrey, James R. Benn) that I had never heard of and genres (World War II Murder Mysteries!) that I never thought I would enjoy. I've become a fan of the above authors, Dennis Lehane and John Skipp.

Right now I have about sixty books loaded on the Nook...when I finish one, I start another. Heck, I've even gotten hooked on Sudoku, which came loaded onto the Nook.

Every Friday, Barnes & Noble gives away a free book (including some of the above)...and they run specials all the time, giving deep discounts on books.

Since the Nook, unlike the Kindle, uses the ePUB format, if you don't like Barnes & Noble, go to Smashwords.com (where a number of independent authors publishing their books, sometimes for free) or the new Google ebook store.

The Nook uses e-ink technology, which is great because it "feels" like the printed word to my eyes, rather than a computer screen...meaning that I can read for hours as time permits. The Nook even does decent PDF conversion (for the less art intensive ones, anyway), as I read the API Anthology on the Nook, as well as used the Wu Xing RPG book on it.

The Nook Color just came out, and it looks cool enough, but I'm not ready to "trade up" until we get color e-ink. The LCD screen would be fine for PDFs and comic books...but for traditional reading, I am incredibly pleased with the Nook.

Just a list of some of the books and short stories I've read over the last couple of months with the Nook:

- The API Anthology
- Buried Tales of Pinebox, Texas
- When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson
- The Monster That Devoured Cleveland by A.M. Murray
- Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey
- One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson
- Gone, Baby, Gone by Dennis Lehane
- Hunt at the Well of Eternity by "Gabriel Hunt"
- Billy Boyle by James R. Benn
- Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
- Chinatown Beat by Henry Chang
- DEAD(ish) by Naomi Kramer
- SERIAL by Blake Crouch and Jack Kilborn

And currently reading Jake's Wake by John Skipp...and I plan on reading a bunch more.

With all of the freebies and deals, an affordable price (for an electronic gadget) and great performance, you could do a lot worse than to invest in a Nook if you're a reader.