My new nook in it's nifty red case already covered in fingerprints.

For my birthday, my husband who blogs here, bought me a Nook tablet.  Now you have to understand that we are not a smartphone family so a tablet was rather exciting.  I’ve been looking for something to bring on vacation with me that I can use to check and triage email, but only respond if absolutely necessary since typing is not as easy as it would be on a computer.  I also wanted an e-reader so I wouldn’t have to haul books around when traveling (I usually bring alumni magazines and newsletters to read and then just chuck them when I’m through).  My eyes are a little too old to use a smart phone, and I don’t want to be completely plugged in when on vacation.

A tablet seemed to be the answer.  I don’t travel enough to justify paying for an iPad even though I am an Apple user.  I didn’t want to be tied to the Kindle’s proprietary format, and I liked the fact that you can run Android on the Nook from a microSD card.  So, this next series of posts will be on my new Nook.

Even though my birthday was in March, I decided to wait until the semester was over before I would start playing with the Nook.  With working full-time and taking two classes and having out-of-town guests and other family functions, I didn’t need the added distraction of a new toy to keep me from my work.  So, I started playing with it in the beginning of May and wanted to make sure that I had downloaded a few books to read before I went on the faculty/staff retreat at Laity Lodge which in theory does not have internet access.

I found that the Nook is pretty intuitive to use.  It’s pretty easy to find new wireless connections and delete ones you don’t use regularly.  Once you have downloaded books or apps, they’re pretty easy to find and you can arrange them the way you want on your home page.  The night feature for readings books is nice as you can still read in bed and not disturb your roommate or spouse.  I tend to like to read the books in portrait (the lock orientation feature is handy when you’re reading in bed and adjusting positions) and use the web in landscape.  I do find it annoying that the settings menu only works in portrait.

I did find it easier to “buy” books on my computer and have them sync to the Nook (over wireless) than to “buy” them directly from the Nook.  It’s just easier to browse on a bigger screen, and the searching functions seemed better. Although the Nook is Android-based, not all Android apps are available for the Nook which is why I want to be able to run Android from the microSD card.

Being a cheapskate, I haven’t really paid for much for the things I’ve downloaded so far.  I’ve downloaded some digitized out-of-copyright books, some (I’m assuming) self-published free books, and some free (teaser?) books from more mainstream authors.  I also one free app and bought three “classic” collections of 25 novels for 99cents each.  All of the novels are out of copyright so I could have found digitized versions of them all, but I’m hoping that the versions that I paid for are slightly cleaner copies.

Some of the free digitized books have not been cleaned so there are odd characters that creep in and “typos” but nothing too hard to figure out.  Occasionally, the passages will be in the wrong order or repeated which is more annoying.  I also noticed that pagination corresponds to the original printed text and not to the Nook screen so the page numbers don’t change even if you change font size.  On the non-digitized e-books, the pages change with the text.

Next time email and web on the Nook.