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Tag / B&N

I’ve always been a bit of a reader, from trivial wikipedia articles to ESPN sports analysis, and of course, books. This is how I spend my one hour or so LRT rides everyday.

Reading beats standing idle looking at strangers that slowly became nameless familiar faces over the months, reading also beats listening to music in the train unless a better way is found in to deal with my spontaneous dancing/karaoke sessions on public transport property.

Barnes and Noble Nook
my ebook reader – the Barnes and Noble Nook

I was one of the earliest adopters of ebook. In fact, back in 2003 I had a little Sony Clie PDA that I used to read on. The tiny screen displays pretty crisp colors, but suffers from the drawbacks of having relatively small memory, and rather miserable battery life. It was tough to find ebooks then too.

Then came the age of smart phones, I tried reading on my phones with mobipocket and so on but gave up eventually. The screens were too small, and LCD with back light was never kind to the eyes.

Many argues that physical book is best and that nothing beats the feel and smell and whatever, but I disagree. Book is good, but ebook readers with e-Ink technology are awesome. How about being able to store thousands of books in your hand, with built in dictionary, and weigh only as much as a typical book? Of course, there are more features too.

Barnes and Noble Nook, size comparison

Since most ebook readers use e-ink screens from the same company (and they are awesome, you can read under direct sun, battery life lasts over a week), choosing a reader for me became a slightly harder task.

After quite an extensive research, I narrowed down the choices to Kindle and Nook, and finally I got myself a Barnes and Noble Nook Wifi model, and this is why:

  • reads ePub (the most popular ebook format, lacking in Kindle), PDF, HTML, and graphics
  • has a webkit browser (like firefox/chrome) and wifi access
  • based on Android and has a community built firmware at Nookdev.com (with other open source apps too)
  • 2 screen design with color touch screen at the bottom for navigation
  • ability to add microSD card to extend the 2GB built in storage (Kindle doesn’t allow that)
  • plays MP3, comes with 3.5mm universal stereo phone jack
  • user replaceable battery
  • relatively light at 320 grams or so (less than half the weight of an iPad)
  • relatively low price at US $149

The only problem was well, Barnes and Noble doesn’t ship the Nook to Malaysia, and you can’t buy ebooks directly from B&N without some tricks. But fear not, there are many ways to skin this cat.

I got my nook from ipmart and paid some RM 800 including shipping and a nice leather sleeve. Alternatively, you can also get them via other shop/shipping sites like vshub or USunlocked. If you’re interested in buying ebooks from B&N directly, you can use a debit card with US billing address from services like the one from USunlocked (US $10 to get the card).

There are also free ebooks from the likes of Project Gutenberg as well as some other sources, use your imagination.

Believe it or not, the ebook readers sold at MPH are more expensive, and comes with quite a bit less features than the Nook, terrible.

I’ve had the Nook for about a month now, read half a dozen books on it and only had to charge it 3-4 times so far. The experience in fantastic, and I highly recommend anyone who love to read consider one of these e-ink readers seriously.