Kindle or Nook?


Kindle versus Nook

I want an e-book device, but I have decided that an iPad is definitely out of my price range. I don’t like rushing out and buying a new gadget because it seems as though it always has some kinks that need to be ironed out, and sure enough, I’ve been reading about problems with wifi and temperature issues in the iPad. I waited until the second generation to purchase an iPhone. I have been extremely happy with my iPhone. The iPad is an awfully pretty device, like most Apple products, but until it’s less expensive and I know more about what it can do for me, I’m afraid an iPad is not an option.

I am an Amazon Associate, as you may know if you visit regularly. I earn a tiny bit on each Amazon sale conducted as a result of visitors purchasing items linked to from this site. I’m not entirely sure how it works because sometimes I earn commissions based on items I know I never linked to. I guess if a person buys one item I linked to and adds other items to his/her cart, I earn a commission on those items, too. I have opted to be paid in Amazon gift certificates. I have saved about $100 in Amazon gift certificates and had planned to save enough (or nearly enough) to buy a Kindle. Now I’m wondering if I should just spend my gift certificates on something else and save for a Nook.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison based on my research:

Feature Kindle Nook
Price $259 $259
Weight 10.2 oz. 12.1 oz.
Size 8″ x 5.3″ x 0.36″ 7.5″ x 4.9″ x 0.5″
Available titles “Over 450,000”
+ 1.8 million out-of-copyright books
“Over a million”
Storage 1,500 books 1,500 books
Expandable microSDslot for more memory
ePub? No Yes
PDF? Yes Yes
Audible Yes No
Battery life Up to two weeks
(with wireless off)
Up to ten days
(with wireless off)
Free samples? Yes Yes
Lending? No Yes
Wireless? Yes Yes
3G? Yes Yes
Sync across devices? Yes Yes
Screen rotation? Manual No
Browser? Yes No
Yes Yes
Library eBooks? No Yes
Text to Speech? Yes No
Keyboard Physical Touchscreen
Content Returns? Yes, within 7 days of purchase Cannot be determined (assume no)
Return device? Yes, within 30 days Yes, within 14 days
10% restocking fee

Even though the two readers have many similarities, I think I have to give the edge to the Kindle. The browser and access to Wikipedia would be excellent additions to the reading experience (if you like to look up information in references, as I do). It would be nice to have access to library ebooks and to lend and borrow books to others, but both of these features can be turned off by publishers. The limited storage on the Kindle compared with the Nook doesn’t bother me; 1,500 books is a lot. I don’t really care about having text-to-speech, but it might help if I want to know how a word is pronounced. I prefer physical keyboards to touchscreen. I don’t know if I’m bothered by the fact that Kindle doesn’t support ePub because I don’t know enough about the issue. I love my Audible books, however, and Kindle supports Audible books. On the other hand, with the Nook, I can buy books from sellers other than Amazon; the Kindle locks users into using Amazon. Of course, that doesn’t bother me much as I mainly shop for books from Amazon anyway. The Nook is prettier than the Kindle, but I think I’m going to go with the Kindle. As a bonus, I can potentially pay nothing for a Kindle if I can keep saving through my referral fees.

If you have a Kindle or Nook, what are your thoughts about your device?

Update, 5/8/10: Consumer Reports’ Electronics Blog has a run-down of Kindle versus iPad. The iPad’s cost put it out of the running for me.

Image credit: Thought by AndrewIs


One thought on “Kindle or Nook?

  1. This isn't really the answer to your question, but my vote is just to resist the desire to buy an ebook reader at all. I've had a couple of blog posts in the past expressing my skepticism for the Kindle, and that extends to the Nook and other related gadgets.

    I'm no technophobe, and I do a lot of reading — so I should be one of the people most inclined to buy one of these things — but I just can't see where the benefits outweigh the costs. In order to use one, I'd have to go out and purchase a bunch of new books (although I guess you could download free stuff from Gutenberg Project et al.), books that ONLY WORK on a Kindle/Nook. Whereas, I could just buy the paper copy of the book and own it completely — never having to worry if the technology will ever go obsolete, or if I will drop the reader in the dirt, or have my 1-year old pick it up and throw it to the ground, or whatever. There's also the DRM issue that Amazon has been notorious for.

    I'm big on technology but I don't see where the current generation of ebook readers has improved upon paper yet. Maybe in the near future I'll be hooked and not just tempted.

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