Why I bought a Nook. A look back.


I used to read a lot when I was small. But didn’t get the chance to read much after I started my higher education. Had no time to hangout in libraries and it was exhausting to stare at PDFs in a monitor after working with computers whole day, and mostly I couldn’t take my laptop on to bed like a physical book.

I had the dilemma of going for a smartphone/tablet or e-Reader. (That debate still continues online, whether it’s worth to spend that much money on a single-purpose device) After a little reading on the goodness of e-Ink technology (no back-light so no strain on eyes, readability on direct sunlight, battery life) made up my mind to go for one. Then there was the final decision to be made, Kindle, Nook or Kobo.

Kindle was the famous one and Kobo was cheap. But Nook had the capacitive touch-screen panel at the bottom, so browsing the web and navigating among bookshelves was easy. Furthermore it supported the standard ePub format among many others. But the biggest reason for me to go for a Nook was, it ran on Android, and could be rooted to install various applications like Twitter, Facebook clients, custom launchers and file managers etc. So if anybody is not planning to hack and void the warranty, its better for them to settle for a Kindle because the latter has a faster refresh rate and a better battery life. (Touchscreen of the Nook eats up the battery a bit, although the touchscreen is not lit up when reading)

Price was $149 for the wi-fi only version and it cost me around LKR18000 including shipping and taxes. Unlike the Kindle, Barnes and Noble are not shipping to SL. So I had to get it down via a friend who was visiting SL.

A year has passed away since then and I’m enjoying reading on the Nook a lot. I can say its the best value-for-money device I have used after my laptop. I read anything, that I can get hold of, in ePub or PDF formats, mostly Science Fiction, Historical Fiction, Popular Science and Technology genres. For converting and transferring books I use the Free and open source software, ‘Calibre‘. Sometimes large PDF books or research papers with complex lay-outing and graphics are not properly displayed in the 7-inch screen, so I convert them to ePub or tweak them a bit via a custom shell script (which cuts and rotates pages to fit the screen).

Sometimes I miss the tactile feel and whole experience of flipping through the pages of a real book. And I think an e-Reader works well with the books having a linear flow, so it might not be the best device for referencing when you are doing homework. It’s hard to keep track of several pages and go back to them quickly, as and when you want, like in a physical book. But nothing beats the ability to carry around, all of the bulky books in your reading list and some more, in a cool device with size of one book. Simply I just love my Nook.

Based on my answers for the interview with The Sunday Times. You can find that article, written by Smriti Daniel, here

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11 thoughts on “Why I bought a Nook. A look back.”

  1. I feel the same way about my kindle :) . When I started looking for an e-reader kindle3 had just come out and was the more attractive option. I use calibre perhaps more than you because majority of e-books on the net happen to be in epub and kindle supports mobi based formats (my only complaint). plus I wish there was a way to convert the pdf’s of technical books which are generally not available in mobi or epub in to one of those retaining at least some of the formating. May be its possible using calibre (?) but I bet it wouldn’t be cake walk :|

    1. I would love to know the total price you paid for the kindle in LKR. I’m thinking of buying one but I’m not sure how much they will tax me on import. So can you please kindly tell me the cost of your kindle(device, shipping & tax) in LKR?

  2. So did u actually root the nook? :P Did u see the new touchscreen nook? That looks pretty nice. And i like the older template for the blog. This one is boring.

    1. Yep. and was fun doing it. You just need an SD card and some time to kill. LOL but rolled back to the original when they came up with the firmware V 1.5 which is quite good.
      New device looks nice. And the touchscreen uses some IR technology not the typical capacitive or resistive. Should be interesting to see how they deal with the disparity of lag in eInk and touch response time.
      He he. I know. and navigation also is not intuitive it seems in this theme. Should find a better one and migrate with all the widgets over a weekend :-)

  3. Had a look at the colour Nook, looks pretty cool :D Esp the ebooks with animations and stuff

    But I need something to ready and annotate my pdfs – which I dont think the Nook supports…BTW can you zoom in and out on the Nook? I’m looking at A4 size pages which I dont think it can display properly without zooming?

    1. Gotta play with a Nook color too. A cool device. More like a low-end tablet rather than an eReader. but not cool on the eyes :-)
      Nook only allows annotating ePubs etc not PDFs. kinda weird. but apps like APDFViewer allows zooming and rotating PDFs on a rooted Nook. Not the best device to work with research papers etc. With more RAM and processing power than a classic Nook, Nook Color does more including running Honeycomb and Ubuntu. See the video

  4. From the very days the Kindle launched it was on top of my things to buy when I get a job. :D Still undecided whether to get a kindle or nook, but won’t be getting any soon anyway.

  5. Hehe…but still I’m struggling machan…you were motivating me on kindle, but here talk about the nook…so…..what to choose???….see since last year I’m struggling to buy this ne…why on earth these damn E-book creatures doesn’t arrive to SL market?>?? are we such pathetic to read book ?

    1. Yeah man. This is long before Kindle released the new range of readers including the ‘Kindle Touch’… and now Nook has Simple Touch Reader too. Interesting to see how eReader market is growing.

  6. Till I read your article my “default option” was to buy a Kindle. Now I am having second thoughts. Good review anyway.

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