The Nook is dead

My Nook is dead. It died in mid-March and I haven’t missed it at all. Except every now and then I thought about the book I was in the middle of reading. And once in a while I remembered how nice it was to buy new books from the comfort of my couch. Plus those weekly emails from Barnes and Noble telling me about new releases and book recommendations pretty much kept the device in my head at all times.

So the Nook is dead, long live the Nook. I’m thinking of buying a new one. The main problem with this plan is that the damn thing is so sensitive. One hard drop on the bedroom floor and the screen saver was broken. Instead of cycling through different authors it stuck with one face until I woke it up to read, then a new face would appear. I was taking the Nook to bed in what turned out to be a much darker room than I anticipated. Bam, I ran into the bed, dropping my phone and the e-reader. The phone is fine by the way. I have dropped my iPhone about a million times and every once in a while I can only hold conversations over speaker phone but the next time I drop it, it fixes itself. This is the kind of technology I need. Self-healing.

The Nook is not self-healing. I got used to seeing one author for days at a time. Sometimes I would wake up the nook just to change the face, Gertrude Stein is a little too handsome of a woman for me to have staring at me from the coffee table for days on end.

The next time I dropped, it the results were a little more destructive. You think I would have bought a case for it after dropping it the first time. Not me. It was fine, therefore it was tough enough to survive my lifestyle. Things end up on the floor a lot in my life. I think I can pick up just one more thing and everything goes crashing down to the ground. I was carrying the baby in one arm; his change of clothes, a cloth diaper, and the Nook were all tucked under my elbow. Things started to slide and so I tightened my grip on the baby and kept walking down the stairs.

Not the best plan.

Obviously holding the baby above all else is good. But I should have stopped, rearranged, set something down. The Nook fell, hit the wood floor, slid, fell down four steps and landed on the slate tile entryway. I thought nothing of it. It had survived the first fall. It was initiated into my way of life. I scooped it up and went on my merry way. The screen had two vertical stripes through Kurt Vonnegut’s face. No big deal. They were only slightly darker than the surrounding screen. They were a little more noticeable when I turned on the backlight but, let’s face it, I deserved it for not buying a case.

But it was more than lines. The backlight turned on, but nothing else did. I pushed buttons in vain. I couldn’t even turn it off and back on again, my go to electronic fixing move. I held down the power button for over two minutes. Nothing. Finally the battery died. My husband charged it for me but it never turned on again. The Nook was dead.

I decided I didn’t care. I didn’t really like the thing in the first place. I was old school. I liked paper books. I could totally read them while I held a sleeping baby. I went out and bought a new book light that was way too bright and had no dimmer switch. I missed the soft glow of the nook a little. I pushed the thought out of my head. Things would be fine.

The baby kept fussing due to my awkward page turning. My hands are not big enough to hold a 400 plus page book in one hand. I broke a few bindings. My mom spilled juice on a book. The baby kept waking up and turning his head toward the super bright light skinning down on him. I finished a book while holding him and had nothing else to read. I started to miss the Nook in earnest.

Plus there was that book I was in the middle of. I downloaded the Nook reader for my computer after a chat with the Barnes and Noble help crew. I immediately hated it. There is too much going on on my computer for me to be able to read a book. Plus there’s glare. And I can’t snuggle up. The screen is too bright and the battery is dying. I need a new Nook.

This time I’ll be smart. I already picked out a cool orange stripy case. If it isn’t sturdy enough, I’ll hit up Barnes and Noble in the mall and buy something giant to protect it. I’ll buy a screen protector and actually apply it, unlike the screen protector for my phone, which is still in a box somewhere. I’ll carry fewer things down the stairs. And next time I’m holding the baby and the Nook and the Nook starts to slide I’ll be able to let it go, knowing I’ve done my best to protect it. The Nook of course, not the baby.

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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