Confession of a Nookaholic

Hi, I'm John! Hi John! I am a Nookaholic and have been since February of 2010. My story starts with my desire to try out an eReader with my choices being the Amazon Kindle and the new Barnes and Noble Nook. I selected the Nook because of the touch screen and value-added features such as Free books on Fridays, Read-in-Store, and in-store deals. My new Nook became what I thought was a friend when I had to spend long hours in the hospital with father-in-law before he passed away and later with my wife's surgeries. Many genres such as technology, business, economics, mysteries, politics, science fiction, fantasy, classics, and history flashed on that eInk screen. My Nook was a constant companion in my various adventures. The WiFi and 3G connections helped satisfy my cravings for new reading material no matter if I was at home, a relative's, or a hotel.

Little did I know when Barnes and Noble announced the Nook Color last fall I would be plucking down my credit card on not one but two of those eReaders. One was for my wife and the other for my son. Both wanted to be able to read books but also do some light Internet surfing and the Nook Color filled the bill. My wife got to read her favorite author, Patricia Cornwell, and catch up with family and friends via Facebook. Unfortunately for me, she also learned how to show for goods other than books on the device. My son got to read some of the books he needed for school and surf the net with his Nook Color. I just downloaded his summer reading titles he better start reading. Hopefully, he will use the highlighting and note taking functions so he can be ready when school starts back in August.  I thought it was rather funny, maybe even cute that every member of my family had their own Nook eReader. Little did I know I had a problem.

I hit my bottom and was forced to admit to a problem this past May. As I was reading some books on education, I wanted to do some highlighting and note taking when I noticed I was not happy with the experience. I had to use directional arrows to highlight passages on my Nook. This quickly became an unpleasant chore and I gave up on the endeavor. Then I started looking at my wife's Nook Color with jealous envy. The ability to just touch the screen to highlight a passage and the better touch keyboard mocked me and made me feel inadequate. I began to wonder if I should go ahead and get my own Nook Color. It was like a siren song beckoning me to financial ruin but I could not resist its call. Then Barnes and Noble added to my torment by announcing the new Nook Touch or Nook 2nd Edition. A simple, eInk reader with a touch screen interface much like the Nook Color. However, this new Nook did not have the ability to surf the Internet or download apps like its colorized sibling. Actually, I did not need these features. I just wanted a simple eReader that was smaller, lighter, and was easier to highlight text. How did Barnes and Noble crawl into my mind and design such a device?! Before I knew it I was on the Barnes and Noble site with credit card in hand. My hands shook and sweat poured from my body as I quickly selected express shipping. Sleepless nights came and went as I eagerly awaited the arrival. As my son and I returned home from school one day I noticed a package by the front door of my house. My son noticed it too and we both sprinted for it. Shamelessly, I body checked my son into the bushes in front of the house and quickly grabbed up my prize. I locked myself into my room and hungrily tore open the packaging. There it was in all its glory, my new Nook eReader. My fix at last.

My new Nook has been a constant companion like my old friend. I think about how Theodore Roosevelt always had a book with him wherever he went and I am sure he would have worn out many more Nooks than I have. The features I wanted are all there. It is very light. It is so small I can put it into my pocket sometimes. The interface is simple and works fast. Finally, I can easily hightlight text on the device. The only complaint I have is that the time is not displayed on the screen as you are reading like the other Nook devices. This should be taken care of with a simple software fix. It would also be nice if it had a sudoku game too but I am satisfied for now. Satisfied until a new Nook is announced and the hunger grows again. Then again, is an addiction to reading such a terrible thing?

Gadget Updates

Barnes and Noble announced a way for my to hand over $139 gladly for a new touch screen Nook. Yes, I already have the original Nook and each of the other members of my immediate family have Nook Colors. Why do I need another Nook? The biggest reason is the ability to highlight passages of text with the swipe of my finger. The other day I was reading a book on my original Nook in which I wanted to highlight some passages and take a few notes. While it can be done on my eReader, it is a real pain. I had to use arrows to scroll to the start of the passage, start the highlighting, scroll to the end of the passage using the same arrows. After attempting this a few times I gave up because it was too time consuming! The size (6 inches) and the batter life (up to two months) are appealing as well. This Nook does not have apps but will have all of the magazines in the store. Also, it is a WiFi only device. The eReaders will be due out June 10 although you can pre-order yours now on Barnes and Noble's website.

Another of my favorite devices, Livescribe, announced Livescribe Connect recently. The free Connect Basic allows users to send notes and audio done by the Echo or Pulse pens to MyLivescribe, Facebook, Evernote, and mobile connectors. Connect Premium allows users access to Connect Basic features along with uploading notes and audio to email and Google Docs. 4GB and 8GB Echo users can download Connect Premium for free while all other Livescribe smartpen users can download the service for $14.99. Thank goodness this did not require a new pen to purchase. The ability to send notes and audio to Livescribe and Google Docs can be useful in a variety of ways. However, you probably will not see me sending Livescribe pencasts to Facebook unless there is no other way. If you have ever seen my hand writing you will totally understand why.

Photo of Nook: Barnes and Noble

Photo of Livescribe Pulse Pen: Livescribe


Here is a special episode of Teacher Bytes! Recorded at the Harry Potter Party at the Hilton Head Island Barnes and Noble. There were many teachers who volunteered as members of the Magical World of J.K. Rowling's novels. It was a fun evening.

Thanks to the management, staff, and volunteers for allowing me to podcast at the store and making the event a magical one for everyone who attended.

Click here to get your own player.