Nook vs. Kindle: Geek Alert! :)

Ok, so this post is solely dedicated to my thoughts about the e-readers nook (by B&N) and kindle (amazon.) If you're already bored, check out now-- it gets worse. :)

So, my nook arrived last week. I have two weeks to decide if I'm keeping it or the kindle, thanks to B&N's 15 day return window. (Amazon's is 30 days.)

All the tech blogs I've read recently have the race at a near tie, with the kindle edging slightly ahead. However, all the reasons they've listed as pros and cons so far are meaningless to me: Google's Android system, which nook runs, the browser (albeit lame!) that kindle has, nook's color display (which I love), nook's loanable books (which is a joke-- you can loan each of your books one time each. I am supposed to be excited about that?) blah blah blah. As far as battery life, weight, look, feel, etc. etc. go, it's mostly a tie, but deep down, I prefer the nook. :) It looks way cooler than the kindle with it's goofy keyboard. But.......

The main thing I am looking for is content. And SADLY, because I really do love the look and feel of the nook better, amazon is kicking butt in content. When I came home from seeing The Blind Side on Thanksgiving, I wanted to buy the book the movie is based on, of the same title. B&N didn't have it; amazon did. A week later I read a review of an older book, A Beautiful Mind, (I remember seeing the movie years ago, about schizophrenic math genius John Nash, remember?) I looked to see if I could buy it on B&N. Nope, but amazon has it! How annoying! The movie even won 4 Oscars--the book shouldn't be that obscure!

That track lead me down the path of the Riemann hypothesis, a theory which I only faintly grasp, but which fascinates me. There is a book out called The Essential John Nash, which focuses on the genius of his mathematical theories (instead of on his personal life) that I was considering buying but... ONLY AMAZON has it! Grr. Oh, and one more. My favorite devotional, Daily Light on the Daily Path, is available from amazon for the kindle. Oh but look! B&N has it too! Oh wait... the free sample I download isn't that book at all, but a totally unrelated book on some other topic. Grrrr! What gives, B&N?

The one big upside to nook's content is free books from Google. I have downloaded three free classics (Little Women, Sense & Sensibility, and The Last of the Mohicans) via Google's free ePub format, which B&N lists in their bookstore as available for direct download. (Amazon apparently also supports ePub, but you have to download them to your computer, convert the file, blah blah blah before you can read it-- it's not nearly as native as B&N.) I love the ease of getting B&N's ePub books, but really, if all I can get is free content, when every other book I go to purchase is not available, what good is that in the long run?

I tell myself that, as the nook has just hit the market, B&N needs time to get their e-book selection up to speed. Amazon has had years to develop their e-book store, hence every book I've tried to purchase has been available.

In conclusion, in every area except content, nook wins. However, as the whole point of an eReader is CONTENT, amazon's superb book selection may win out. The aesthetic side of me is yelling "No, no! Keep the nook! It looks/feels wayyy better." The other, practical side of me is calmly stating, "Keep the kindle. Who cares what it looks like: what you need is book selection!" Plus, is there anyone who doesn't love amazon.com?

Ohhh man, what to do. Any comments that will help me make up my mind would be greatly appreciated. :)

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