Barnes and Noble Nook Simple Touch Reader – A delightful surprise

My wife and I went to Barnes and Noble (the only book store within a 20 mile radius btw) this weekend to pick up some physical books for our trip to Hawaii this week. I have already downloaded the Nook app on my iPhone and her iPad, but she was too worried to take the iPad to the beach for fear it would be stolen or damaged, and I didn’t want to use up all my batteries reading on my iPhone. She ended up getting 3 paperback books @ $15.00 a pop and I ended up getting a hardcover book that just came out. I total, we paid close to $100 for 4 books. Is it just me or have prices gone up? I was already irked that the book I wanted was only available in hard cover, which is hard to carry around and hard to read comfortably at the beach.

barnes_and_noble_nook_simple_touch

I had heard a few weeks before that B&N was rethinking their Nook line and possibly looking to partner with someone who would handle the hardware. Walking into the store, I also saw the “Sale” signs, but I didn’t think about getting a Nook, because whats the point of buying a tool that can only do one thing when you could have an iPad that did many.

When we got back home from our trip to the bookstore, I checked to see if the book I had bought was available as an eBook, and it was available for 1/4 the price. Then I checked to see if it was available at the library in eBook format, and it was. Then I checked to see how much the cheapest Nook was and it was currently on sale for $79 (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/Compare-NOOKs/379003181). For almost the price of a hard cover book, I could buy an eReader. Then I did some Google searches for the Nook Simple Touch Reader (STR) and found that you could;

  • Root it and install apps on it – not really appealing for me because I would have my iPhone, but would have been appealing if I had bought books on Kindle, because you could download the Kindle app from the Google Play Store.
  • Sideload eBooks (ePub,Mobi,PDF) via a MicroSD card.

So now for the price of one hard cover book, I could buy the Nook STR and borrow the book I wanted to read from the public library, download eBooks and sideload them to the Nook STR and also access the books I had already purchased from B&N.

Then I checked the books my wife had bought, and bingo, those were available from the library as well. So now, she wants one as well, so I’ll be returning her books tomorrow and setting up her Nook with her books that she’ll be reading on the trip.

Price paid for physical books = $100
Price paid for (2) Nooks = $160

What that doesn’t count is the (2) 2GB Micro SD cards I purchased @ $6.00 each, and it doesn’t count the free books that I can sideload or borrow from the library.