Trying to find a niche for the Nook

I bought an e-reader and I don’t like it. It’s not the wrong one for me, I did my research. The Kobo was too small, I don’t like Amazon so no Kindle for me, and the iPad provided too many distractions. I have enough trouble trying to watch TV and Facebook at the same time, I don’t need a tablet with games to read a book. The Nook is lightweight and is backlit for nighttime reading. It has has a cool screen saver of different authors. They are kind enough to provide the names of the authors so I don’t feel too dumb.

But I don’t like it. I want to like it. Or at least have a decent reason for not liking it. At first I was frustrated because there was no way to turn on the screen saver, seemed like a legitimate reason to not like it. Then I looked it up online and found out how to press the home button to turn the screen saver on. So there went that complaint. The battery life is fantastic. The wi-fi works great. I can buy books with a simple tap of the screen. I can search by author or title. I can browse the bestsellers and recommendations based on my downloads. So why don’t I like it?

I bought it because this baby makes reading extremely difficult. He wakes up when I turn the pages of a book. I can only read the smaller paperbacks because I have only one hand available and larger paperbacks are unwieldy. Hardcovers are out of the question. Sometimes the book I want to read isn’t the one that’s closest to me. Being a little tired all the time makes it a lot harder to hold more than one plot in my mind at a time. The Nook solves these problems and more. It’s a bunch of books all in one spot. Tapping the screen turns the page. My booklight died long ago and so I was limited to daylight hours for reading. Not great in Michigan in February. The Nook’s glow light allows me to read in low light or no light. I don’t have to leave the house to buy books. Any parent can tell you convenience is key. But I’m not happy with it.

It’s just not the same. I like reading words on a page and not a screen. I’m old school. I like the feel of pages. I like dog-earring them. I like to underline interesting passages. These feel like weak complaints. The Nook lets me look up words in the dictionary, which is great. I can read newspapers and magazines in addition to books. I wish I liked it more.

I’m going to keep using it, maybe I need more than a week to get used to it. In that week I’ve read a book and a half on my Nook. That’s a lot for me right now. It had been over a week since I had even touched a book before I bought my Nook. This is the best I can do right now. It may feel like a second-rate tool, but at least it will keep me in literature. Maybe the lower prices of ebooks will encourage me to try new authors. I’m pretty sure I can borrow and return library ebooks from the comfort of my couch. There are so many pluses and so few minuses, so I’ll use it. But I won’t like it.

Kelly Hannon worked in an indie bookstore, is editing her first novel, and blogs about annoying people at www.letterstopeopleihate.com. Follow her on Twitter @KellyMHannon

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