Thursday, February 04, 2010

Alice Bluebonnet

I was going to write all about how I have a cold and fever right now and am supposed to be at work today but instead chose to call off so I could languish here, thinking about how I didn't remember how awful having a fever feels, especially when the Tylenol wears off and you lay under the covers alternately wracked with chills and sweating like you just ran a marathon.  Trust one wants me taking care of their sick or premature babies today, so even though I feel guilty about leaving my coworkers a little bit in the lurch, I know that in bed is the right place for me to be right now.  However, I couldn't figure out a way to write all that out without sounding like I am whining...mostly because I was, in fact, whining.  So instead, let's talk about Alice Bluebonnet, my nook, the new electronic reader from Barnes & Noble.

I ordered my nook on New Year's Eve, using my Christmas money from in in-laws, as well as the only large check I received this year for working at my second job.  Those two things together just about covered it.  I had decided to order the nook after spending many hours on a variety of techy websites and nook-related message boards, reading everything I could find on it.  I knew I was in the market for an electronic reader and had in mind as my front-runner the Kindle, which is made by Amazon.  However, I had never seen a Kindle in person and hesitated to order one sight-unseen.  When I heard that preview units for the nook would be reaching stores in December, I knew I had to check it out.  On top of that, I am a huge fan of B&N.  It's my favorite bookstore to shop at, and I have always received great customer service there.  I am a member of their rewards club, and I like to go there on occasion just to hang out.  I couldn't wait to get my hands on the nook!

Sometime in December, I was able to go into a local B&N and hold a nook in my own hot, little hands.  And as I said to the woman working at the customer service desk, "This thing [was] remarkable."  Looking at the e-ink display was not much different than looking at the printed page of a book.  The fact that it was not backlit meant that I didn't have to worry about getting eye fatigue from looking at the screen like I would from looking at a computer screen for several hours.  I made the decision right then and there that nook would be mine.

I ordered on December 31, which put me in the group with a ship date of February 1.  And for the next month, I figured I could spend time continuing to research the nook on-line, as well as building up my e-book wishlist on B&N's website.  Well, imagine my surprise when I received a notice on January 16 that my nook had shipped!  Thanks to what appears to have been a shipping glitch, I (along with many other people around the country) received my nook early by almost two weeks!  I won't go into too much regarding said glitch except to say that I got my nook before some people who ordered theirs before me.  Regardless of that, by January 19, I was holding Alice Bluebonnet in my hands!

I got right to work, downloading books using the B&N giftcards I had saved from Christmas.  I have read six books on it so far and will probably bang out another today.  One of my favorite aspects of reading on it is that I can set it down on my lap and use its touchscreen to turn the pages using a finger swipe.  I don't even have to hold the nook in my hands.  When I do hold it, I can do so one-handed, which makes it very easy to lie on my side in bed and read.  It fits in my purse, so when I am waiting in a waiting room or on a long line, I can just pull it out and get right back into whatever I am reading.  It has really revolutionized the reading experience for me.

Another nice aspect of the nook is that it is compatible with library e-books that use the Overdrive system.  While my local library does not have e-books, I was able to use my library card and the ACCESS PENNSYLVANIA sticker that it has on it to get a card for the Free Library of Philadelphia, which does offer e-books.  In fact, just last night, I finished reading my first library book on my nook, and I have another ready to sideload to it and several more on hold.  Although I do have to connect my nook to my computer to do this, it is easy as pie and means that some of the books I will read on my nook will be 100% free to me...and I will be able to borrow library books without leaving the comfort of my own home.

Anyway, that's my early thoughts on my nook.  As for the nook is named after the 1954 Disney short about Johnnie Fedora and Alice Bluebonnet, featuring the Andrews Sisters.  It's a favorite cartoon of my mom's from when she was a little girl, and the name just seemed to fit.  And now, if you will excuse me...I have a date with Alice to read the newest of Robyn Carr's Virgin River series!  Happy reading!

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