And what universal question is that, you ask? What came first, the chicken or the egg? Why is there air? Is God a man or a woman? Or, what was up with that Mayan calendar deal?
Nope, none of those. Although I did ponder quite awhile over the chicken and egg one until my brain cells went crosswise and I began to lose the feeling in my limbs. If anyone has the answer — share.
Now, some background:
I have been an e-published author since 1998. Way back then when e-books were emerging from the primordial ooze, we mostly read on laptops and maybe Palm Pilots until a wonderful device called the Rocket eBook by Nuvomedia came out. There were many who tried to copy it and failed. RCA/Thomsen Consumer Electronics bought out Nuvomedia and then went nowhere with the Rocket which they had renamed. Um, I hope the marketing genius who screwed the pooch on the Rocket eBook re-branding has now kicked him or herself in the ass. They’d taken a viable product with name recognition and killed it off. JMHO.
And the original Rocket was a damn good product for its time. My original Rocket eBook still works over 13 years later. Yes, ladies and gents, the same rechargeable battery still recharges — and, gasp, holds the charge. You can’t say that about many rechargeable devices today.
Nuvomedia had a good, reliable product that did what it purported to do — store and read eBooks in a simple format. Yes, it was only black and white with grayscale for the covers, but it was a pioneer product in the new world of eBooks. Baby steps would have soon led to bigger and greater things. But it was not to be.
Since e-books didn’t catch on quite as fast as everyone had hoped, the Rocket and its immediate successors went the way of the dinosaur and died. RIP
BTW I love my Rocket, and while I have retired it, I plan to have it buried with me.
Flash forward a few years — well, more than a few years — to Jeff Bezos and Amazon and the Kindle. This is when e-books began to gain ground.
Jeff Bezos is a marketing genius. Whether you like him and his company or not, he has single-handedly brought e-books into the mainstream. Everyone else has been playing catch up ever since.
Like everyone else, I want new and shiny technology. I want to read my books, have color covers and images, and do other shit with my reading device. So, after I gently packed away my Rocket (which still effin’ works!) in its original box, I decided to buy a modern e-reading device.
My dilemma was — what of the many choices out there did I want to take a chance on?
I did my homework. Read reviews. Read customer complaints. Studied specs.
When I made my decision, I didn’t begin with the Kindle or even the Nook; both were a tad bit too pricey for me to take a chance on when I decided to retire the Rocket. So, I went with a Nook-a-like, the Pandigital — it had color, it played music, it played videos, and it was inexpensive. It was Android-based and if I wanted to hack it, it could act as a tablet.
I was happy with it until it died. Unlike my Rocket eBook, the Pandigital was not built for the long-term.
So, my next leap into the e-reader marketplace was the Kindle Fire. I was an Amazon Prime customer, and the idea of loads of free videos, TV shows, and free books on loan sold me. And I have to say, the Kindle Fire does what it says it will do and so far (knock on wood) the battery has recharged and held the charge. Most nights, I can get almost 8 hours with the WiFi on, more with the WiFi off.
But since I am of an inquiring mind, had a shit load of books in EPUB, and since I like to test out my book files on both the Kindle and a Nook-like device such as my deceased Pandigital, I then purchased a Nook Color (WiFi).
What are the differences between the Kindle Fire and the Nook Color?
The Nook Color screen is larger, and it is lighter to hold. I don’t play music on it. I don’t watch videos on it. I read magazines and books on it. Magazines look fab on it. I’m not sure I like the way files are organized on the Nook (Kindle is easier to use), but the Nook also has an external SD card slot — so the memory is expandable. You can save a lot of books on a 32 G SD card. Also, I think the Nook touch screen is easier to use in that the Kindle takes a harder swipe to scroll. (FYI, The Nook I bought is newer than my Kindle Fire and the screen seems more adaptive.)
So, what is the answer to the Universal Question … Kindle or Nook?
My answer is I don’t know. Sort of like the chicken and egg thing — it is all a matter of perspective.
For right now, I am happy to use both — the Kindle for the Amazon Prime free videos and TV shows (the picture is really really good and with headphones on it is like being in a mini-theater), and the Amazon Cloud storage. The Nook for all the books I had already purchased in EPUB and for when I want a larger screen to read graphic intensive magazines and books.
Share your e-reading device experiences — I will choose one of the comments and give away a FREE download of the first book in my Security Specialists International series, Eye of the Storm to one commenter.