Friday, December 25, 2009

Hallie...

colors with her new Christmas supplies!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Nook v. Kindle: Part Deux

Sooo.... I have thought long and hard about this problem of mine. Do I keep the pretty, eye-candy nook or the plainer, content-laden kindle? As much as I really, really love the look and feel of the nook (the rubbery, contoured back is just so nice.. and the buttons click so quietly...).... well... content is king. So I'm shipping off the nook back to B&N. *sigh*

Last night I decided to look on amazon to see how much (in theory) I'd be paying for all those free classics that B&N offers. And the answer? Nothing. Amazon has their own version of B&N's offer of free classics, thereby nullifying that part of my mental argument for the nook. (I promptly downloaded free versions of Little Women and The Phantom of the Opera to my kindle.)

And I looked for a couple other (older, but not obscure) books on B&N, and they didn't have them! As the whole point of an e-reader is to, um, read, I logically, against my eye-hunger for the nook, have to go with amazon on this one. Their content selection trumps B&N every time, in my (limited) experience.

So... that's that. Now I have to steel myself against the wiles of the lovely nook as I repackage her for return shipment. :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

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. :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

catch up

Playing catch up (again). I ought to just skip a title on my blog posts since all I ever do is review what we're up to!

:: Tristan's birthday is a week from Friday. He is more excited about this than Christmas, for sure. (I actually have separate Christmas and birthday presents for him, so I feel like a good mom, too. ;)) We're celebrating his bday a day early though, because.....

:: My brother Andrew is tying the knot a week from Saturday! We'll all be trekking 5 hours north for the wedding. Dan's parents are flying in on Wed., so since we have to drive to NY on Tristan's birthday (Fri.), we'll be having his party a day early, on Thursday. It will be fun to have both sets of grandparents in attendance! And can I just announce that I feel officially OUT of the baby stage for the first time in 6 years!? Wow. In some ways I am melancholy, but in others, I LOVE it. Sleep, for one thing; great schedules, more freedom for me... it's definitely not all bad! :)

:: Will is flying back to STL with Dan's parents on Christmas Day to spend 5 days with them ALL BY HIMSELF. He is soooo excited about this! The rest of us will be driving out (in my parents' RV!) on 12/29ish and spending New Years' there. I can't wait to see all my family that I haven't seen since the summer! And, I have a new nephew who is squishy and cute and who needs his aunt Sarah in a bad way. ;)

:: Anna, Abby and I are all angels in BMHA's live nativity. We have 2 nights of rehearsals (starting tonight) and 3 nights of performances back to back! I have NEVER been gone from home for5 straight nights before. Thankfully Dan is a terrific dad, and the kids will probably enjoy dinner and bedtime even more with just him! :) If you live around here, come out and see us! It's at 6 & 8 on Fri. and Sat., and 6 on Sun. If you text me that you're coming, I'll come say hi! You can even get a picture with me in full angel regalia. ;)

:: Dan and I hosted part of a neighborhood progressive party on Saturday night, and it was so much fun! My mom helped me decorate (and clean!) for the party, and my house really looks festive and pretty. We have the tree up, presents wrapped and under it, live garland around all the doorways, etc. Hosting a party definitely kicked me into high gear Christmas-wise, and now that I am done, I am so glad we did it! The party itself was a blast, and now I have nothing left to do (well, in a manner of speaking) till Christmas!

:: Guess that's about it. I have lunch cleanup to do before naps/quiet time, and while Will is amiably building Legos, Hallie and Tristan are playing a very loud and violent version of ring around the rosy. :) I better go before the crying breaks out! Have a great Christmas if I don't post again before then! :)