Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nook v. Sony: Battle of the E-readers

So, what happens when a tech-savvy gentleman tries to drag his lady friend kicking and screaming into the 21st century? I call it the battle of the e-readers, or, the lost weekend. Last year Don gave me a first generation Sony e-book reader for Christmas. I was thrilled! I thought I was the coolest thing going and boasted of my prowess at work. It has taken me all this time to adjust to its quirks and I was just beginning to think I had it mastered when, you guessed it, he decided to "upgrade" me.

I am now the proud owner of a Nook, wi-fi, 3G e-reader and victim of a lost weekend. I can't tell you how often I advise my customers at the library that the Nook is the easiest e-reader to use in navigating the library's free downloadable library. I lied!

True confessions, I showed an ugly side of myself as I almost threw the Nook out the window in frustration trying to find the book I had downloaded from the library's website. Calls to the tech support line proved humorous as I was speaking with someone even newer to e-readers than I was. I could hear him turning the pages of his manual as I asked questions. Now, I could have read the manual myself but, hey, that would have been too easy, right? After all, they actually put it right on the Nook and it's also at the Barnes and Noble website.

So Sunday, Don holed up in my office while I retreated to the lanai and we both figured out our e-readers. You see he adopted my Sony. The first time he tried to download a book to it he was told in no uncertain terms that the "device" wasn't registered to him. Who says Big Brother isn't watching us? We had to call and get it out of my name and into his.

In the meantime, I tried to download a library book to my computer but it would only show up in the Sony Reader Library instead of the Adobe Digital Editions library. Sooooo - Don had to delete the Sony software from my netbook. Can you even imagine for one minute our customers handling this??? It was a comedy of errors! The good news is, we have both now mastered our e-readers and are happy. A second trip to Barnes and Noble at Coconut Point yesterday (they are the best sales folks in the world!) and I learned how to access my email and my New York Times on my Nook (which was the object of the exercise in the first place.)

Now, a word to the wise....apologies to my employer but......our e-book collection is the pits! Literary fiction? Fugedaboutit! Ten new books on how to raise chickens in e-pub format? No problem. How many farmers do you see out in the coop with their e-reader? Hmmmmm.

Your best bet is to go to Guttenberg or another free download library with classics and load up on good reading. My Nook holds about 1500 titles and I can get Henry James and Edith Wharton for a buck or two. Even those Ken Follett tomes I've been wanting to read "someday" can be purchased for 5 or 6 bucks so why be hindered with a two week checkout?

Don has now downloaded du Bois' The Souls of Black Folks while I have The Complete Works of Shakespeare. There's peace in the valley again.


Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right about our e-book downloads. I wouldn't be bothered, especially with the 2 week check out time. I'll by mine!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry...that's "buy"

dschirtzfl said...

I have a new Kindle which is driving me nuts. I know it is limited to only Amazon holdings. That isn't what is bothering me. I think the thing I hate is "it is not a book". Guess I will need to devote a whole weekend to figuring out this and that. Only feature I can recommend so far is that my eyes do not tire as easily. You young folks don't have to worry about that yet.

Sallyb said...

Hi ladies, Your comments gave me a laugh. Maryellen, I have to wonder how on earth they decide what to purchase.
Dorothy, we may not have to worry about our eyes tiring but, for me, that's just because I fall asleep before I read 10 pages! Pitiful.