Your opinion counts: Kindle or Nook?

April 5, 2011 · 21 comments

After lugging around a 700-page hard cover book for the last month, I’m starting to come around to the idea of buying an e-reader. Plus, if this is the future of publishing, and I’m working to become an author, I should understand how readers will experience my books, right?

Which means I’m facing the same dilemma many of you have already dealt with: Should I buy a Kindle or a Nook? I’ve read quite a few reviews (including one on eye strain) and visited Barnes & Noble to try out a Nook (that’s where they’ve got Amazon beat), and now I’m hoping y’all will weigh in.

Kindle or Nook? Why?

(I’m also hoping this conversation will become a resource for readers who are grappling with the same question!)

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Rebeca Schiller April 5, 2011 at 9:28 am

I love my Kindle. I went with it from all the reviews I read re the e-ink that it was the best. No issues with it at all, and I love that I can bring wherever I go my forty books. I have the wi-fi version without the 3G and I’m pleased as punch with it.

One thing to note, though, it’s addictive. I thought I would download a lot of the freebie books whose copyrights had expired. Nope. I keep buying new books. Some have been inexpensive, but publishers are now setting the price on these ebooks and sometimes they’re more expensive than a paperback. So beware. However my main reason for purchasing a Kindle was because I literally ran out of surface space and shelves in my house

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Julie April 5, 2011 at 9:30 am

I’m trying to decide this too. Most of the eBooks I’ve purchased have been for the Kindle. (I read them on my Mac.) I like that Nook can be used to check out books at my local library. On the other hand most people I know have a Kindle and that makes sharing books possible. The Nook beats Kindle because of the touch screen. Yet Kindle is lighter. FYI: I was surprised to see the Kindle in my local Staples and I think Best Buy and Target have them. Looking forward to see how people weigh in.

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Shannon Young April 5, 2011 at 9:33 am

I bought a Kindle just before I moved to Hong Kong and I love it. At the time you couldn’t download books on the Nook outside of the US. I don’t know if that is still true or not, but I have never had any trouble buying books from abroad on my Kindle. It’s just one thing to consider since you’ll probably be traveling with it!

Other than that, I think it’s a good size and weight. It has never bothered my eyes and I read quite a lot.
Shannon Young recently posted…HONG KONG ROSE by Xu XiMy Profile

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Alexis Grant April 5, 2011 at 10:49 am

Good to know it doesn’t bother your eyes! That’s my main concern. Thanks!

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Dana Bailey April 5, 2011 at 9:33 am

I love my NookColor. I only use it for e-books, but apparently you can download the full android platform and turn the NookColor into a tablet. I mainly bought it for the ability to lend, although it can only be done once, but if you have a friend who also has a Nook, and who likes the same books, this is a great feature.

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Roxanne April 5, 2011 at 9:45 am

I have owned a Kindle for about three months and have really enjoyed it. I did not want to buy a device with a lit screen because my eyes tire easily. I have found the ink and feel of the page on the Kindle to be just right for me. The ‘no downloads outside the US’ ruled out the Nook for me, though I do anticipate this is a rule that may change in the future (if it has not already).

My Kindle does have access to the internet, but the browser function is still experimental. Even though browsing is unpleasant and difficult, it does not bother me too much, since I use the Kindle primarily (almost exclusively, actually) as a reading device and only use the web functions when I really need them.

Good luck making a choice and enjoy your new e-reader!
Roxanne recently posted…Harpaxophobia- Fears and almond blossomsMy Profile

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Alexis Grant April 5, 2011 at 10:39 am

Thoughts from Twitter followers:

@tracymba: I LOVE my KOBO. It’s compact, has great service and comes with the classics already loaded. It’s definitely worth consideratn

@supermegawoman: got a sony e-reader for my birthday and love it!

@greglinch: I’ve only used its app on iOS devices, but I’d vote Kindle.

@kkmah: I have Kindle2. It’s great for travel & reading in bed, but I still prefer holding book in my hand. It’s great to have tho!

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Matt April 5, 2011 at 10:48 am

I was in your shoes around the first of the year, trying to find out which e-reader to buy. I read everything from CNet to personal blogs and everything in between offering an opinion on Kindles, Nooks, and Sony’s e-reader. What I gathered is that if you’re looking strictly at e-ink readers, the Kindle seems to always come out on top. But if you’re open to the color or LCD displays, the Nook Color seems to be where everyone throws their hat.

I wound up going with the Nook Color and love it. What really sold me was the in-store demonstration of magazines on it. When looking through an issue of National Geographic, the LCD screen made the pictures “pop” more than they ever could in a print edition. I’m also a huge fan of the touch screen feature. And with the operating system being Android-based, it has all of the features (apps, internet browser, Pandora, etc) of a tablet. The difference between the Nook Color and other tablets like the iPad is that the Nook Color is a tablet built around the e-reader instead of being a tablet with an e-reader app.

Good luck!
Matt recently posted…HelplessMy Profile

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Alexis Grant April 5, 2011 at 10:50 am

This is super helpful, Matt, because I AM thinking of an e-ink reader. Thanks!

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Hope Clark April 5, 2011 at 11:00 am

I have a Kindle DX and enjoy it. The eye issue is important for me since I live on the computer eight or more hours a day for my FundsforWriters.com work. So when I read for pleasure, I like to give my eyes a rest. And no matter what angle you tilt it, you can read it. And it works so well outside or in a car where the sun might be an issue; just think of your Smartphone and the sun, and that is what this isn’t.

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Alexis Grant April 5, 2011 at 12:54 pm

@lindseyoconnor says: Kindle all the way. Longer battery. E-ink easier on eyes. More immersive reading experience.

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Marcia Richards April 5, 2011 at 1:59 pm

I’ve been trying to make the same decision. I have held the Kindle and seen the text and e-ink. It was easy reading, but didn’t care for the look and feel of it. The Nook attracted me because of the color feature, the mags, and the library download. Now I just have to see it in person. I was opposed to giving up print books initially, but realize, like you, in my eventual self-publishing for ebooks and print, i probably should have an ereader.
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David Lucas April 5, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Hi Alexis,

I own a Nook and love it. Mine is color which adds to the appeal. Also love how I can jump on the web with my Nook Color when other PC’s are occupied in the house. B&N’s inventory and pricing certainly rivals Amazon. Readability has been great and eye strain has not been an issue.

Good luck with your decision.

David Lucas @careercurator

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Alexis Grant April 5, 2011 at 6:36 pm

Yikes! If Nook Color doesn’t cause eye strain, gotta throw that one into the mix…

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Mike snyder April 5, 2011 at 6:19 pm

I love reading books on my Ipad, but that’s a different conversation.

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Megan April 5, 2011 at 6:27 pm

I’m a huge fan of my kindle which I’ve had for 1.5 years. When some of my coworkers were having this same debate, I brought in my kindle for them to try and then they went to B&N to test out the Nook. They all favored the kindle. There are now 4 people in my office of 12 who own a kindle and 0 with a nook.

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Alexis Grant April 5, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Got a bunch of comments on Facebook, too. Among the most helpful…

From Alissa: I’m obsessed with my kindle. It really comes down to personal preference but I haven’t found anything to dislike about it. Tip: share an account with someone. My sister and I have one and we share and recommend books reading them simultaneously with the wifi off to prevent syncing!

From Susan: I got a Kindle from my parents I gave it back. Never used it. Hated it.

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Alexis Grant April 5, 2011 at 6:44 pm

From Erica on Facebook (doubly interesting to some readers of this blog):

I love my new Kindle for reading while traveling. It’s so light and I love having the availability of several books at my fingertips to choose from when I finish another. However, one downside I’ve found is that it’s not a convenient medium… for travel guides. Travel guides are best when you can flip through them quickly. Although you can jump to different sections of a guide in a Kindle, it’s not easy to just browse for inspiration. I’d say that overall, the Kindle is really great for narratives. I’m still searching for the best way to carry with me travel info without having to lug around a giant Lonely Planet tome or have a smart phone app connected to the internet (I want something that I can download before I leave, and then access without relying on wifi service).

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Natasha April 6, 2011 at 11:30 am

I found a really good article comparing e-readers: http://news.cnet.com/kindle-vs-nook-vs-ipad-which-e-book-reader-should-you-buy

I held off on getting an e-reader until they announced the Nook. There were two main reasons why I went with it and wasn’t sold on the Kindle. I live in an Android household and that sold me right away. The speed wasn’t great at first, but their updates now have made the nook really great.

One of the biggest things I like about the Nook is that it uses the .epub and .pdf. I think file formats are very important and should be universal. I know Kindle has more difficulty with libraries and websites such as NetGalley (which now has it working, but didn’t for a few weeks). I am not sure if Kindle can use .pdf or if you ever want to sideload any books from your computer if the need arises. For example, I would want to use it to read something of my own. You can find ways around it, but it is something to keep in mind.

I love my Nook. I haven’t had any problems with it and it does the things that I need it to do and is easy to use. I haven’t had problems with it in any way and really enjoy having it when I travel so I don’t have to haul many books with me (I always have them chosen beforehand).

I would love to upgrade to a color, but the eye strain is something I am concerned with. I already use the computer most of the day and my eyes just need a rest.

Good luck with whatever you chose!

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Alexis Grant April 6, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Thanks for being a voice for the Nook! Except you’ve just made my decision more difficult… Will keep y’all posted.

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Dan May 19, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Here is the site that helped me decide – http://ereaderbattle.com/

At first I wanted a NOOK because of the in-store support, ePub format, and being able to change the battery without having to ship it oout.

But, in the end I chose a Kindle as I travel Internationally alot and wanted to be able to download new books when abroad.

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