Wednesday, May 14, 2014

My Nook

I got a Nook for Mother's Day. I'm still deciding what I think of it.

Don't get me wrong: I wanted a Nook -- or a Kindle, something of the sort. As I'm planning for my world literature class I'm teaching this fall, I realized how many books my students are going to need to purchase, and I started wondering if it made more sense to have them invest in one of these devices (which they could use throughout high school and beyond) and carry it back and forth to school each day instead of a book. Save money and prevent back strain. Still exploring that possibility.

But I mean, in general, I'm still deciding what I think of my Nook. I like that's it's small and light. This would be such a JOY to take on trips versus the pile of heavy books I usually carry in my suitcase (because yes, I take books on most trips -- if nothing else, I'm going to need to read at night to go to sleep). I like that I can highlight things and make notes about them and then erase those notes if need be later without leaving a mark of any kind.

What do I not like? It's not a book.

As I was searching the online store for books I could buy and read on my new toy, I found myself hesitating on many because I thought, No, that's one I want a hard copy of to put on my shelf. It seems like any book I love, I want in paper in my hand. C.S. Lewis? I want that in paper in my hand. I want the pretty cover and the spine showing on my bookshelf . . . not an icon on an electronic device.

Plus, just browsing the selections at the Nook store, I was a little disappointed at the prices. Yes, there were quite a few bargains, and some free books, also -- especially among the classics, which I would be inclined to buy. But a lot of current books cost $17 or so, which is sometimes pretty costly even in a hard copy. I can't imagine why a book needs to cost that much without the actual printing costs involved.

I blogged about a year ago about getting a smart phone and how I realized immediately that this was going to change my life. And Lord knows, it has -- some for the better, some maybe not. One of the first things I was excited about was that I could keep my to-do lists on the phone, and yes, that has been awesome. But the thing is, I still have days when I find I need to make a written list. I need to put a pen in my hand and a scrap of paper on the table and write down what I need to get done that day . . . group things by category . . . order them by priority . . . and I need to do it by hand. I need to cross each item off by hand. I can't explain exactly why. But it makes everything feel better, some days.

That's what I suspect I will find about my Nook. I think this will be a great thing for school, a great thing for travel, a great thing for my practical reading needs. But reading is not all about practicality for me. And when reading is about comfort, I think I'm still going to need a real, honest-to-goodness book.

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