E-Reader Wars

After taking a look at the Barnes & Noble press on the new Nook, I am finally saddened by my loyalty to Amazon. This device looks great and addresses many of the issues my wife and I have with the current Kindle. The touchscreen is a killer interface, quite frankly. Our Kindle, still only about two weeks old is covered in finger prints and smudges because our brains still haven’t rewired to the lack of interface. iPhone and iPad have spoiled us to such an extent that we simply cannot imagine why the Kindle won’t respond to our repeated swipes and gestures.

The thing is, I’m a bit of brand loyalist. I don’t really know why, but I think this is inherent to a lot of people. We find something we like and we stick with it. I grew up in a Book Stop family, we made weekly pilgrimages to Book Stop and spent a lot of time there. My Dad had a multi-book a week habit that had to be continuously fed. Then Barnes & Noble came along and gobbled up Book Stop, digesting the discount and crapping out an awful membership that didn’t save as much money. So we didn’t shop there. Instead we went to Borders.  I have a feeling Borders was a bit new agey for my parents, with the live music and coffee shops, but it wasn’t Barnes & Noble, and that was what was important. I myself went off to college and ended up working in a bookstore for a while, and in turn sort of got put off by the whole experience. I discovered Amazon and loved that I didn’t have to interact with human beings to buy the books I wanted. Once the Kindle came along I was even happier. I didn’t have to interact with humans or wait for delivery. This is magic people.

So I start to build a Kindle library, even without an actual Kindle device. After a few years of reading on my iPhone, computer, and later iPad, I decide that I should just bite the bullet and buy a dedicated Kindle.  My logic was that the non-backlit screen would be easier on my eyes and that the lack of web surfing etc. would keep me focused on reading (completely true).

Only two weeks later and Barnes & Noble comes along with this new Nook and I’ve got the buyer remorse blues. Grumble, grumble, grumble.

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