Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Barnes & Noble Nook: The Art of Racing in the Rain

It's just too much! Maybe one of you can talk some sense into Angela! First, she and Doug go on a cruise. And then, while they're on this cruise, Angela reads this book on her nook and asks me to review it!

It's just too much to ask of a dog!

The books is " The Art of Racing in the Rain," by Garth Stein. It's narrated by a sweet, noble, lab mix, on the last day of his life. This fine creature understands that it's time to be. . . . Get This!. . . . "put down" and reminisces about his life.

It's a totally maudlin book. . . a real tear jerker (How could it not be?!), as Enzo philosophically takes you into the devastating details of his owners/family. He tells of his beloved Denny, and the death of sweet, young Eve just a few short years into their marriage.

And, as if that's not sad enough, then Denny has to battle his in-laws to retain custody of the cute little Zoe, their 3 year old daughter.

If you are in the mood for a sad, sweet book, this is perfect. If every once in awhile, lifetime Someone's-going-to-die movies appeal to you, ---like maybe on a rainy, or cold, winter day, you'll like this.

It's not funny, like "Marley and Me," but it's about a dog, and that can never be all bad. But is this really the right book, I ask you, for a Disney Cruise?????

I mean, isn't Disney suppose to be "the happiest place on earth?" You're not suppose to curl up someplace with your nook, and cry! Sheeeeeeesh!

OK. . . . Now I'll turn this over to Angela.

"Errr, Thanks Bonnie. That was. . . . uh. . . . great.
I just want to tell a few more things about the Barnes & Noble Nook. I debated for several years about getting the Kindle. . . and there was just something about only being able to read books that I bought through Kindle that just made me hesitant.

I heard about the Nook in November, and for no apparent reason, with little research, I ordered it! It wasn't even out yet! I knew that it was suppose to have a system in which you could add books from other sources, like or or google books, and this was definitely a selling factor for me.

It's also suppose to work with overdrive, a library system, if your local library subscribes to this, which would allow you to add your library's ebooks onto the reader. I'm hoping our itty bitty little library will eventually have this.

It has a "lend" feature, which allows for the lending of some books, once, to someone else for 14 days. Message boards are springing up that help provide a forum for this "brokering" of exchanges.

I've been able to add pdfs to it, and have acquired a number of free books--at this point, mostly directly through barnes & noble.

One major problem I experienced with the nook was with registering it. It was suppose to work over the AT&T 3G network, including in Edge areas or partner areas. Ha! Not in the hinterlands of North Dakota! Nor apparently, in places like Montana, Wyoming, SD, Kansas. . . only in definite AT&T solid blue 3G areas. Once registered, it works over home wifi, but the initial registration involved my driving to Minneapolis, some 300 miles away, to do this. It wasn't actually necessary. . . just made it easier to order books "over the air" directly onto the nook, without having to sideload them with a USB cable connecting it to my computer.

This past week, the firmware V1.2 came out, and once I installed it, even mine would now register in ND. Others in the "wilderness" areas are now being to register their nooks as well.

This thing is awesome! I'm really enjoying reading on it. You turn pages by just gently swiping a finger very lightly a small distance across the bottom. I can listen to music on it while I read, and even add my own photos to display as the screensavers if I want to. The e-ink display is very easy on the eyes for reading, much nicer than a computer screen, and if I want to, I can change font style and size. (I usually want to if I'm walking on a treadmill or using an exercise bike.) At this point, most recent NYT bestsellers directly from B&N cost between $5 and $10, although depending on what publishers do, this may, unfortunately, change.

A strange aside of the nook are the message boards of B&N regarding the nook. It reminds me of Stephen King's "Under the Dome." If you remember Bonnie's review of this book, people end up in opposing camps, with all sorts of characterological quirks emerging; basically your usual human melodrama whenever you get more than a handful of people together.

That's what the B&N nook boards are like! I kid you not; people have even threatened to take out someone's grandmother on it! And then there are the usual grown-up sorts who basically provide technical assistance as the quirks of a brand new technical gadget are worked out. I find the boards to be fairly addictive reading themselves! (Bonnie thinks I need to get out more!)

And she's right; I need to give her a less challenging assignment for her next review!


Cathi Green said...

Bonnie is so stinking cute. I must be living under a rock, because I haven't even heard of the Nook!

Suzy said...

Great review Bonnie!

Maria said...

Hmm . . . I don't think I'm ready for an e-reader yet . . . but it's pioneers like you that will make it easier for us wimps when the time comes.

Margaret said...'re too funny!

And Angela, I've seriously been wanting a're definitely very convincing in your review. Sounds like you love yours.

Cheri said...

great post - although my heart goes out to Bonnie for having to wade through such a depressing book!

Jeanne said...

You are making the Nook sound a little more appealing. I really haven't felt a "need" for it, but your review is a great one.

Poor Bonnie had a tough time with the review. But you sure got some great shots of her!

Sharon said...

I am a big ereader fan. I get most of my books
from which is now owned by Barnes
& Noble. I use my iPhone to read. I was interested in the Nook but I see an ipad in my future. ;)