Archive for Digital Readers

eBooks: Barnes and Noble Nook

After my last post regarding the Amazon Kindle and the Sony Reader, one of my Facebook friends asked:

“Isnt there a thing called the Nook or something that downloads books from the library?”

The answer is a big “Yes” and a little “No”.

Yes, there is a thing called the Nook, and its the ebook reader from Barnes and Noble, but the only library it downloads from is from Barnes and Noble’s catalog of books. Though if you think “free” when you think “library” then you could say “yes” because the Nook has over 500,000 free ebooks available to it, while the Amazon Kindle doesn’t. The nook retails at Barnes and Noble for $259.


One interesting feature of the Nook is its ability to allow you to lend select ebooks to friends for free for 14 days. They don’t even need a Nook themselves. All they need is an app they can install on their PC or Mac or their iPhone. Soon they’ll also be able to loan their books to Blackberry, Android, and Windows Mobile smartphones, too.

(I do find it strange that there is no Android app yet because the Nook runs on the Android operating system. Is it possible Barnes and Noble will forge some sort of alliance with Google, the provider of the Android OS?)

Expandable Memory

Another plus for the Nook is its expandable memory using MicroSD or MicroSD HC cards. The Kindle only has internal memory, and you can’t swap memory chips with books on them as you can with the Nook.

Color Nav Screen and WiFi

The Nook also has a separate color touchscreen for navigation, unlike the Kindle with its pure grayscale screen. It also has WiFi and 3G wireless, while the Kindle only has 3G. The plus here is you can access WiFi in the Barnes and Noble stores, and elsewhere, and browse and download content in your local bookstore. I suppose if you can access WiFi elsewhere, the you can probably download content there as well.

ebooks: Amazon’s Kindle or Sony Reader

Today, I am starting a series on ebooks and the digital readers. Maybe you didn’t notice, but there was a big jump in the e-book market last month.

Though e-book “readers” have been around for over 5 years already, they didn’t start to click with the public until the Sony Reader and the Amazon Kindle entered the scene.

Sony Pocket

Kindle (6 inch)

There’s no doubt the Kindle is well known, but the Sony Reader is far and away my favorite. The latest and least expensive reader from Amazon is the Kindle Wireless Reading Device (6″ Display and Global Wireless) for $259. While the Sony Digital Reader Pocket Edition (PRS300SC) goes for $175 (at, no less).

Amazon only has one other Kindle to choose, and that’s the Kindle DX (with a 9.4 inch display) for $489.

Sony has two other models to choose from: The Sony Reader Touch Edition (PRS600RC), $273, and the new Sony Reader Daily Edition (PRS-900BC) for $499. While the Pocket Edition uses buttons for navigation, the Touch Edition has a touchscreen. Another nice feature for the Touch is a stylus for writing notes on the screen, and the expandable memory with memory chips like you find in a digital camera or smartphone.

The Sony Daily Edition is the only Sony model that has wireless capability like either Amazon Kindle device.

While wireless capability in either device is convenient for the sake of downloading books on the go, and there is no need to worry about the added expense of paying for 3G wireless service from AT&T since Amazon foots the bill for you. The device comes preconfigured.

Both the Sony and Amazon devices allow you to download ebooks from a PC or Mac with a USB cable.

The pros and cons come in with your choice of sources for getting books for your reader. The Amazon Kindle only works with Amazon, while the Sony Readers can get books from any of a dozen or more ebook sites such as, (partnered with Borders Books),, Sony’s Ebookstore, and the Google Library, to name a few, not to mention several free ebook sources, too.

I’ll have more information on the ebook readers and ebooks in the days ahead.