I had a conundrum on my hands. One of the members of my writing group just had her novel published, but the initial release is e-book only. And another member of my group will be traveling this same road in October. It was time to finally break down and finally buy an e-reader.
But which one?
Actually, the first thing I had to decide was whether I wanted a full-fledged tablet instead. People keep saying the e-book reader is dead, and more and more books are read on tablets and smartphones. However, if you read a lot, that e-ink display is really easier on the eyes. And you can go weeks without recharging with an e-book reader. But what really made up my mind was the price tag: I could get an e-book reader for less than $100, but a decent tablet? Forget it.
After some torturous indecision, I eventually decided on a Barnes & Noble Nook GlowLight. While most reviewers give the Kindle Paperwhite the edge in display quality, the differences are pretty minor. And while Amazon’s e-book offerings are indeed dazzling, they come with two hefty caveats:
- Instead of using the international standard EPUB format, Amazon has its own proprietary file format for e-books. Yes, you can use a converter. But who wants to deal with yet another app?
- Because of the way it approaches digital rights management (DRM), Amazon can decide to take away your Kindle books anytime it wants. On the Nook, my library belongs to me. Period.
While the Nook also gives you an ad-free experience for less money, the bottom line for me was really the file format and DRM. If money had been no object, I would have gone with the Cadillac of e-readers: The Kobo Aura HD. But for $50 less, I’m more than happy with my Nook.
And the first book I bought? Julie Davis’ debut novel, Down East Girl. I can’t wait to start reading.