Joining the eReader Crowd

It's a new year, and time for me to return to this blog. I've spent enough time lost out in real life. Time to jump back into the lands of fiction.

But first I have to share a little bit about the new gadget in my life.

I've been watching the e-reader scene for the last few years, staying out on the sidelines thinking how they could be cool but not quite enough for me to put my money down on one.

That changed once I discovered the NookColor. It's more of an e-reader/tablet than the Kindle or older Nook with their e-ink screens. (Those are neat in their own right, but don't quite capture my inner-geek).

The nook features a bright LCD touch screen that is easy to read from and is glare resistant.

So far I've read a couple magazines and one complete novel and I'm really enjoying it so far. I especially like the ability to stream music from Pandora through the device while I read (it has both a speaker and an ear-phone jack).

The book reading is very nice and I like the tactile feature of swiping my finger on the screen to turn the page (rather than pushing a button). You can also make notes, highlight passages, look up definitions, and even share passages through Facebook and/or Twitter. Pretty cool. :)

I've read an issue of Popular Science as well (boy did that help get some creative juices flowing) and that was very neat. The color screen really let the pictures pop, and if held horizontally you can view a full spread from the magazine.   You can't really read the text, and while you can pinch and slide to zoom in, the cool feature is a little "article view" button that pops up an inset with just the text from the article for easy reading.

There are some other extras, like suduko (I don't do math), chess, and crosswords, and a contacts section. Plus you can insert a micro-SD card (up to 32gb), or use the base 8gb memory to hold your own music or pictures and listen and watch.

There's also a web browser that is functional, but doesn't support Flash yet, so not all sites work on it.  But it's a start, and B&N has already released an update to make it a bit better.  We'll see how that continues.

The downsides of the NookColor mostly seem to be in it's not fully utilizing it's potential, being built on the Android OS.  But BN plans to continue fleshing it out and have new apps developed specifically for it so we'll see how that pans out.

Also the battery life isn't stellar (though reasonable for me, I can go about three days between charges), and it's Wi-fi only, but I don't really travel enough for that to be a major downer.

So I'll stop gushing now.  :)

On plans for the immediate future, I read the Hunger Games trilogy by Susan Collins over the last weekend. I was totally captured by the story and the writing, but also saw the bleakness there and feel compelled to talk about it.  So I figure I'll spend the next few days processing the books and sharing my thoughts on the series and how it all ended.


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