Nook or Kindle? In terms of the reading experience and selection of books, what is a better buy?
I would recommend trying to get some hands-on time with both devices at your local Barnes & Noble for the Nook and via a friend or possibly Target (depending on where you live and how far the retail roll out of the Kindle 2 has gotten) for the Kindle.
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Pound for pound, if you live near a BN, play with it and see if you would benefit from browsing entire books for free while in the store. The expansion slot isn't that helpful when you already have plenty of room for text. The good thing about either is, if you ever get an iPad (which is my go-to reader, but I'm not recommending you buy it unless you have disposable income and can justify the price for the increased functionality), both markets are available as apps. Whatever you buy through either market is available to you on the iPad app, which is great since I have so many Kindle books that I bought my first year, and I still only buy books through the Kindle market.
Aside from the minor price diff: Larger catalog vs free reading in store
No Audible support
Touch screen nav not that great (slow, eats battery, not that intuitive)
Fairly slow page changes
Need to click button forcefully to get page to change
PC/iPhone app is unpredictable. I upgraded and it lost my library.
WhisperSync: Absolutely Fabulous and essential feature
Better store: Many more titles
Better apps (PC, Mac, iPhone)
Support for Audible audiobooks
For what it is the Nook is intuitive once you've had it for about ten minutes. I thought the whole thing was color screen- no it's just the bottom small screen that is. Hope this helps! The deal breaker was epub- I like to check out books from the library and also the sharing of books with other Nook owners. That's cool and under-rated feature (I'll try it out).
BTW, the nook runs Android, so in theory it can be hacked to run Android apps, although I have not done this yet.
My first nook was defective, but the B&N store swapped it out in minutes. There is no Amazon (physical) store, and I avoid Target because they have given my wife a hard time about returning other stuff.
When it broke again (someone sat on it when I was in Iraq) I decided to buy the Nook. I don't think the reading software is as fleshed out as the Kindle's. IMHO the Nook is not as intuitive and easily used, although with the touchscreen below, it has quite a bit of promise for the future IF Barnes and Noble decides to work on it. Now that they have started the huge push for the Nook Color, I am a little worried that the original Nook is going to be forgotten.
1. Adobe Digital Editions Support, which basically means Overdrive support through libraries. If you use your library now at all for books and want to checkout ebooks in the future, the Nook is the clear winner here.
2. ePub support. You can at the very least comparison shop on the Sony or Kobo (and ebooks.com) stores to load them on the Nook. If there is any DRM at all or ePub file formats then you cannot load them on the Kindle. You are shopping at the Amazon store only.
If you are fully vested in the Amazon ecosystem already though then why not go Kindle.
I think Amazon can dominate the e-reader market (they may be already, but they won't tell us how many they've sold!), the main problem so far has been that they are missing features like library lending, loaning books to friends, etc., but they are adding these features to better compete with more open-source readers.
I believe the Kindle will come out on top and be the best device to own in the coming years, so I bought a Kindle. However, there is the sort of monopolistic looming shadow of "if you own a Kindle, you can only buy books directly from amazon". That's not exactly true, but it's close. Plus, when you buy books from amazon, as far as I know, you don't own them, you have a license. If for some reason amazon doesn't like what you've been doing on their site, they can remove your account, taking all your books with it. All things to consider. I think the best thing to do is go to a store like Best Buy that has displays of both and get some hands on time with both, and choose the one that you like the most.
P.S. I was also considering the Kobo. I liked it when I tried it out, but it's extremely slow loading, turning pages, and connecting to wi-fi compared to the Kindle.
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