Monday, April 4, 2011

A Love Letter to My Nook

Dear Nook,

I never thought we would get this far.

I swore I would always be a paper girl.  I love the smell of books, the feel of them in my hands, the pretty covers.  I love popping into a bookstore and flipping through several tomes before deciding which lucky one will be going home with me that evening.  For me, books are a quick, fairly cheap (especially when I have a coupon!) pick-me-up: better for me than ice cream, and way more lasting.  I can revisit them again and again.  And thanks to an awesome city library system, I can borrow almost anything I want for free!

Then two things happened.

One, my neighborhood Borders closed, as did most of the locations in Chicago.  I was devastated.  Sure, there are independent and used bookstores in my 'hood (one of the advantages to living here), but they don't have nearly as good a selection, plus one of the used bookstores is run by a real asshole who always yells at me to turn off my cell phone.  Even when my cell phone is tucked away in my purse.  Plus, no coupons.

Two, I started planning my move.  Granted, I'm staying in the same neighborhood, but even a trek seven blocks east requires packing, which necessitates a purge.  And I realized: while I love my three full bookcases, they are very, very full.  I've loved discovering the romance genre, and I was about YA way before Twilight was even a sparkly germ in Stephenie Meyer's mind, but the thing about genre fiction?  IT PILES UP.  Like crazy.  Because YA and romance reads tend to be fairly fast (and I'm a fast reader anyway), I have a ton of them.  Sure, many are worth rereading and revisiting (for example, I always turn to Jennifer Crusie's Bet Me on a bad day), but some I haven't looked at since the first read.  Also?  Usually all of my holds from the library come in at once, which makes for a very heavy bag at the end of the day.

There's a Barnes & Noble near my office, where I like to write and have hot chocolate on lunch breaks.  And like the nerdy best friend in an 80's movie, you, Nook, were always hanging around, at your little kiosk, surrounded by attractive covers and accessories.  But I always ignored you.

Until one day, like the nerdy best friend in an 80's movie who gets a makeover, I stopped for a second look.

You were light and easy to use.  You use "e-ink" and not backlighting, so as not to hurt my eyes.  You could store a bajillion titles AND fit into my purse.  Many of these titles were cheaper than their paper brothers and sisters.  For a girl who panics if she finishes a book in transit and has nothing else to read, this was like discovering Nutella for the first time.  And best of all, you could store e-books from the library.

But I took my time.  I asked around about your reputation.  I did online research, I grilled my fellow bookworms.  I listened to my sister when she said, "you read so much, you're actually a great candidate for an e-reader!"  I'd never thought of it that way, but she was right.

I know there are risks.  For example, I don't essentially own any material stored in your lovely self--essentially, I'm "renting" it.  A zombie apocalypse could happen any day--or you could just massively upgrade--and I'd lose all of that.  But my paper books, they would remain.

I get it, though.  Falling in love always, always comes with risks.  And sometimes you have to just jump in.

So I bit the bullet, Nook.  I picked you out, along with two pretty covers.  I learned how to do a search, how to load library books on you, how to make "shelves" to sort my growing collection (my shelves are named Noodle Stories, Bitches Be Crazy, Teen Girl Squad, and Do Not Watch That No No Channel).  I'm still growing accustomed to all your little quirks.

And I don't think I'll ever fully outgrow the print format.  Some books I do want to own, to hold in my hands, to display on my bookcases.

But on the whole, Nook, I think you and are going to be very happy together.



  1. So how DO you get the library books on your nook? I can't seem to get them to transfer from my laptop. :(

  2. I had a friend on facebook telling me to get one the other day, I'll admit it would be good for my overstuffed bookshelf but I do love the feel of a real book in my hands.

  3. Gnatalby--at my library, you have to download a free program called Adobe Digital Editions. I think of it as a nerdy iTunes. Once you download the book from the library's website, you drag it into ADE, then plug in your e-reader and put it on there. It's a lot like putting stuff on iTunes and then onto your iPod.

    Amiee--I was like that too!