Friday, March 29, 2013

Fiction Features: There's a Nook Gase in my Bookcase

By Laura A. Lords

It’s 2012; our world revolves around the computer, our phone, tablets, or
whatever other handheld electronic equipment we are using to stay plugged in. So in this
world of the quick connection and the immediate response, where do actual, hold-in-
your-hand books come in?

There is something about the feelings that sweep through you, fellow book
junkies will get it, the second you walk into a library. The smell of the paper and ink
around you, the feel of the book in your hands, flipping the page and transporting
yourself into a different time or place…it really is a magical moment. If I’ve lost you
already, you’re not one of the library fanatics I’m talking about, but keep reading. This
book junkie is about to get all technical on you.

It’s a whole new technologically advanced world, a world that I fail in repeatedly.
I’m 26 years old and within the last month got my first touch screen cell phone. I can
only imagine the look of disbelief on your faces right now. That’s right. In this holy
land of Angry Birds (something else I fail at), downloadable books, and Google search
engines available at any time with the tap of a finger…I am only now becoming involved.

Naturally, I did the only thing I could think of to help improve my complete lack
of technological skill. I bought a Nook. To be specific, I bought the Nook Simple Touch
(the cheapo of the bunch). I sat, not-so-patiently, waiting for two days until the little box
showed up in the mail. It was an amazing experience. Take it from someone who still
looks at her boyfriend’s smart phone and goes, “Wow, it can do that?”

Within three hours it was completely charged and I was online happily
downloading all of the free books I could (fair warning: most of the free books available
are smut. Good smut, bad smut, but 99% of it is all smut). Now I know I said I bought the
cheap version of the Nook, but that wasn’t the reason for the free books. I didn’t want to
spend a ton of money on books yet when I wasn’t sure how I was going to like the reader.

Begin testing phase. Let me explain my room to you. I have an entire wall that my
wonderful father covered in shelves for all my books. It’s full. In the same manner, under
my bed is also full, the space by the wall under the window is loaded, the Man’s Xbox
sits on a pile of books…I have a slight problem. Needless to say, I downloaded a lot to
the Nook in those first few moments as well, totaling out at about 20 free books (with
a smut-smut here and a smut-smut there, but also a bit of free poetry I found and H.G.
Well’s The Time Machine).

The nitty-gritty of it, it really is a great product. With the Nook Simple Touch
the screen isn’t lit, but it is very easy to read, and you can purchase a Nook light pretty
cheap. The words are sharp and clear and I never found myself getting that headache
that seeps into the back of my brain after too many hours reading off the computer. It’s
easy to change the text size and font, something that comes in handy to make reading
even easier for different users. Pages are turned with the simple push of a button or the
tap of the screen, whichever you prefer. I’m a button person myself, but hey, we already
discussed my touch screen experience, or lack-there-of.

I think the biggest bonus though is the battery life. I left it unplugged, on, and
read it every evening for ten days before I was down to 25% battery life. To say I was
wow-ed is the understatement of the century. I fully expected this thing to konk out on me after a few days.
I’m relatively positive now that the Energizer Bunny has been
squished flat and shoved inside this light-weight little machine. Poor thing.

Everything’s not all peachy with the Nook though. Checking out the prices, I
really didn’t find a lot of difference between the prices of buying the book out of the
store and getting it for my Nook. Barnes and Nobles does offer some great sales and it’s
entirely possible to find some awesome classics on the freebie list, or at least the cheap
list of books. However, I ordered George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire: Clash of
Kings and paid $8.99 for it. Not much a steal when I can get the paperback at Wal-Mart
for $7.99.

All that aside, there really is something about the feel of a book in your hands.
Imagine your dream house, a nice library with the fireplace going, and a bunch of empty
shelves because your library is a bunch of pixilated words floating around in cyber space.
That is so sad, I can’t even think about it anymore. So I’m old school, I want my books.
If you think the only chance you’ll ever pick up a good book is if you can get it through
an awesome product like this, then go for the Nook Simple Touch. It doesn’t have all the
fancy gadgets that the others include (like the tablet applications or the backlight), but it’s
a lot of bang for your buck. As for me…I’ll be the chick in the library with the paperback
in her hands, curled up in the corner of the couch.