The world of reading is changing in front of our eyes. The long anticipated arrival of the digital revolution for book readers is here in the form of such devices as the Nook from Barnes and Noble, Kindle from Amazon, and a half dozen other devices hoping to score a share of this booming market. While Kindle leaped to the front of the pack and is racing ahead of the others in sales, we find there are a few reasons we’re attracted to Nook instead.
A serious drawback, in our opinion, of the Kindle reader is that it does not recognize the ePub format, which is the ubiquitous choice of much of the digital reading world and intended to be opened across many platforms. Amazon has decided to go the iTunes route and attempt to corner the market with their proprietary format while they can, so forget about reading ePub documents on their reader any time soon. With the vast selection of classic literature available for free download from public domain sites like Project Gutenberg, it’s a big problem for us that Kindle does not allow us to peruse these selections.
Interested in writers like Aristotle, Cicero, Voltaire, Spinoza, Tacitus, and more? How about subscribing to your favorite financial magazine or newspaper, downloading it while you’re on the go from any wi-fi hot spot and reading the thing on the subway?
Though we are a website dedicated to all things monetary, as far as price goes, Nook and Kindle are so close that it doesn’t make much difference one way or the other.
We’re also pretty impressed with the legibility of the words on the screen when it comes to the Nook. With their new e-ink technology, they come pretty darn close to replicating the experience of reading actual ink printed on real paper. If you’ve ever tried to work on a laptop in direct sunlight or agonized through framing a shot with a digital camera through the rear screen, you know what we’re talking about – it’s literally unusable. No worries with the Nook. Stand on a street corner in Phoenix, Arizona, at high noon in the middle of August and you’ll still read the print clear as if it were a paperback held in your hand.
The only question remaining is do you really need a reading device that allows you to carry hundreds of books at a time? Well…maybe if you’re taking a hot air balloon trip around the world or, of course, if you really, really, really want one.
The American Monetary Association Team
Flickr / AMagill