Sunday, December 12, 2010

Birthday Unwrapped!

Yesterday was my birthday. I am still younger than middle-aged but, I believe now quite offically, older than "early twenties." It was a very good birthday. First, there was snow, which is requisite for a good birthday for a northern girl born in December. Second, there was a lovely meal with my husband for which we both dressed up, which is a rarity for us in our advanced age of marriage (three and a half years--no excuse, is it?). Third, there was Christmas cheer applenty, in the form of a tiny Christmas tree to decorate, mincemeat to simmer, and Christmas lights to be viewed on a little detour we took on our evening drive, which, when you share a birthday with the Christmas season anyway, you may as well enjoy.

And, fourth, there was a birthday gift. Dear husband surprised me with....

...a Nook.

I had not, to be honest, expected to get on the e-reader wagon this quickly, but I.Love.It. I still love books. I must say that front and center--I love books, and any book that would be a permanent addition to my shelf will still be purchased in paper and ink copy. But I read many a historical PDF for research purposes, and this is SO much nicer that hauling a laptop about to read off of. Or, trees forgive me--printing eighty pages of "Treatise on the Marine Physick" to scour for useful tidbits on eighteenth-century whatevers.

In short, the pros:
1) Elegant design. The little touchscreen is a joy to use, the e-ink is super-readable, the whole thing feels very natural in hand.
2) Easy to use. Very intuitive. Read both official e-books and PDFs I uploaded with great ease and no fuss.
3) Quick charge, connected with no problem to WiFi in my apartment, and downloaded books in a flash.

1) It did randomly decide to take a few minutes to download an update while I was reading last night. I hope this will not be frequent.
2) You have to set up an account with to register it, and have to fork over a credit card number before you could download even free e-books from (even those that came already loaded). Obviously not a huge deal, but it felt a little "hard sell" to me.
3) I may, possibly, be addicted.

As a sidenote--the first thing I read was a few chapers from a WIP from my good friend June, and wow! Such an awesome experience to read a friend's work in this format. And much easier than on a laptop or computer. I now understand, 100%, why industry bloggers I read are behind this new tech!

Have you considered an e-reader? Bought one? Rejected the concept completely? Still on the fence?

PS It's almost Christmas so: I'm feeling jolly and will be hosting a book give-away here soon! Keep you posted :)

PPS New Year coming, thinking about the blog--and have a new poll. What do you want to see more of? Let me know!!


Jillian said...

Sounds beautiful!!

I'm not gonna lie: Though I am all for not funding the loss of print books, I would love an e-reader. It sounds so handy, and saves trees, and might stimulate a love of books, in the e-generation. :-)

Happy birthday!

Kat Zhang said...

Happy belated birthday, Rowenna!!

I admit I've not quite jumped on the e-reader bandwagon yet. Every time I think about really, solid, cover-and-spines-and-pages books going away completely, or bookstores closing down, I start getting light-headed and all breathless.

But who knows? Perhaps I'll be converted one day :)

Carrie C said...

Happy Birthday! And it's interesting to hear about your love of the ereader - I'm still cautiously holding out, but expect to be won over just as you were. Enjoy!

dolleygurl said...

Happy Birthday! That is an awesome gift. I really don't want an e-reader. If I was a person that traveled all the time, it would probably move up my list more, or if I had to read more PDF/ebook type things. But as it is, I spend all day on a computer at work and after work, and when I finally sit down to read before bed - my eyes are freaking out and I can't stand the screen. I love seeing my books in print and in my hand - so I think I will likely be avoiding it for as long as possible...

Rowenna said...

Jillian--the handiness factor was definitely in high in why I like it!

Kat--I can definitely appreciate that. I see myself reading books on the Nook that I would buy in paperback and then give away, or would rent from the library. For books I want to own--I'm buying "real" copies :)

Carrie--thanks :) I didn't expect to like it so quickly, but I definitely am enjoying it!

Dolley--travelling was one of the things that made me think I'd like one--you can only fit so many books in a carryon :) I was surprised--the e-ink is as easy on the eyes as they claim, nothing like a computer screen. I had expected to get eyestrain, but a couple hours of reading and no trouble!

Connie said...

Happy Birthday!!

I don't have an e-reader. But my daughter has a kindle, and she loves it. I'm pea green with envy.

Katy F. said...

I hope you had a great birthday! I'm a bit backlogged in my Google Reader, but I came across your post in it and wanted to send you belated birthday wishes. :)