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