I thought my NOOK was the most amazing thing in the world. At the time, I was right about that. I bought my NOOK in what felt like another time, May 2010. There were only two e-readers on the market. The Kindle and The NOOK. Well, I had the NOOK. The NOOK was sleek and white with a little touch screen across the bottom as an interface. A touchscreen! It felt safe to go ahead and throw down the money for it. I felt like I was taking part in the future of publishing. I decided that there wasn’t anything like this on the horizon. If I stand in the right spot, I could buy books right on my NOOK, inside of the store. This was revolutionary for me. I thought I was finally down with the times and on course with the rest of the world.
Well, I was wrong. I had been on course with technology for about a month before the world switched into hyper drive.
Little did I know, my NOOK purchase was just one little power play in a huge battle that was waging over the interface that would represent the digital reading world. It was an arms race of sorts. The NOOK Vs. The Kindle.
I started reading the articles. First off, the price war. My 300something NOOK could now be bought for a little over half the price. That was just the first step, but the prices continued to fall. I knew that I would fall victim to the price war, but I didn’t think I was in too much danger of having an old NOOK. I just got my NOOK. A new reincarnation couldn’t be that close to reality, right? As the NOOK's price got lower and lower, I wasn’t so sure anymore. Was I doomed to be the proud owner of a tech dinosaur?
Shortly after that, the iPad was released, and dozens of other tablets followed close behind. Never mind that these new tablets were both book readers and mini-computers. At least I knew the NOOK was still just a book. In digital form, of course.
When Christmas came around, my aunt and I decided to go in together to buy a new NOOK for my dad, a dedicated reader. I went to Barnes and Noble to check out a NOOK and was horrified by what I saw - The NOOKcolor.
7 months and a whole new machine. There should be rules against this type of thing.
The NOOK wasn’t just “in color.” It had a touch screen that took up the whole face of the device. My NOOK’s little touch-screen interface across the bottom felt like a distant memory, some relic from another time entirely.
I eagerly awaited Christmas so that I could check out the newness for myself. I sat in the corner on my couch with the new bigger box. I offered to set up my father’s NOOK and seized the opportunity to check out the new hardware. The books themselves looked totally different on the color screen.
It reminded me of those commercials for laundry detergent. The colors were brighter, and the whites were whiter.
The nook was about as close to an iPad as anyone in this family would ever get. I could get online and look at YouTube videos. YOUTUBE VIDEOS! I couldn’t even get my baby NOOK to change pages in a smooth movement.
On the color NOOK, you don’t press buttons to change the pages, you just move your finger over the interface like a book. But it doesn’t feel like a book. It feels like you are in some type of sci-fi movie.
Can you tell I don’t buy many nice things?
We dubbed my dad’s THE NOOK. And mine? We called it nook jr. We use all lowercase letters, kind of like a television show for children. We sit them side-by-side sometimes, just for fun.
My little nook is still on the site, being sold with the other regular nooks. They stand them next to each other, NOOK and nook jr. The language on the site even reflects the reality. The nook is called “award-winning and best selling” like a reliable writer that you go to for reading whenever you decide to actually read a book. The NOOKcolor is described as “the ultimate reading experience.” It’s the new Xbox of the group obviously.
I do take comfort in the fact that there are similar-looking e-readers found just about everywhere nowadays. As the way of the world, the e-reader had descended ranks into the department stores and drugstores. You can even get one at a grocery store. Maybe that is a fact I shouldn’t take comfort in.
Despite everything, I love my nook more because it is more like a book. I like books. I use books as way really take a break from the connected world. I love the fact that my nook is essentially unplugged, just like a book. A lot of the new tablets are designed with the assumption that someone would want to read a book and go on twitter on the same device. I’m not one of those people. If being a dinosaur means sitting in a corner and just reading my book, I’ll take it. It is kind of nice to know that my nook is just for reading, and I couldn’t do anything else.
Even if I wanted to.