Friday, March 12, 2010

Saving CeeCee HoneyCutt , the Nook, Amazon, Apple & ebooks

There's something about this gadget that has made it so much more fun to read--even if it did cause me to fall off of my treadmill, again!

I just finished reading "Saving CeeCee Honeycutt", by Beth Hoffman, on the Nook, and this is another book that I thoroughly enjoyed. It's about a 12 year old girl's life in Savannah, Georgia, after her early years alone with a mentally ill mother.



From the very first pages, this book made me want to cry. CeeCee is living with something that is just bigger than her, bigger than a child should have to go through. Early in the book, though, there's that glimmer of hope of resilience, possible when someone throws a child a lifeline through acts of kindness, and CeeCee is embraced by a circle of loving, quirky, women.

In many ways, this book is very much like "The Secret Life of Bees", a fairly common theme in women's literature, but well-worth re-visiting. And like "Bees", there's a transformative process that occurs for CeeCee, as she makes peace with her past, and is able to come to appreciate the positives of her mother as well as to bear the pain of thinking about and remembering her childhood.

A few people have asked my opinion about the nook itself. It still has some glitches, given that it's a newly released gadget (Nov, 2009). Barnes & Noble is not good at all at communicating with its customers on its message boards in dealing with the problems, and I wonder if it's some kind of corporate stategy; scramble like crazy to fix the problem but don't actually TALK about the problems so that you can maintain some kind of plausible deniability.

The nook has had several software updates, and its latest (early February) greatly improved issues with registering the nook through WiFi, maintaining bookmarks on the nook, speed at which pages turned. The only problem I've run into has been in trying to open one book which just would not load ("Animal Dreams", by Barbara Kingsolver) When this happens on an infrequent basis, the issue seems to be more of a problem with the formatting of the ebook itself, rather than the nook, but still, the book was purchased through B&N!. My fix was to load the book in the file "My Documents" rather than the file "My B&N downloads", but having to figure out a fix for the little glitches can be annoying!

Falling off my treadmill wasn't exactly a nook glitch, though. (Although wait! Maybe it was! Because I was trying to get the "Animal Dreams" book to load when it happened!)

I'm finding that the nook is absolutely excellent for reading on my treadmill or exercise bike. You can hold the nook one-handed, and with this little, smug, practically twitch-of-a-movement of your thumb, turn the page. (One time I was sitting on a plane with an unfriendly fellow passenger, reading my nook, while he read his Kindle, and swear I won the Page-Turn-Contest through my thumb motions. I'm not sure he noticed, though I was indeed feeling smug about it.)

Today, I read in the Atlantic Monthly an article asking whether Apple can beat Amazon in the e-book competition. The nook was not mentioned at all. The author was fairly critical of the Ipad, claiming that it "does a bunch of things, but none of them especially well. You can't read it in daylight, and its battery life is much shorter than the Kindle's" It said the ipad doesn't have a real keyboard, ability to multitask, no phone, no camera. And it's just one more thing to carry.

To me, that would be huge; I wouldn't want another BIG thing to carry in my purse; the nook is the perfect size for portability (and my dangerous treadmill!) I'm also a big fan of the ability to go beyond Amazon's books; only Amazon books can be opened on the Kindle. I can get books (epub format) from dozens of other sites for the nook, and my library just said that they are looking into an Overdrive subscription for ebooks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, I'm pretty happy with the nook. Not Barnes and Noble, but with the nook. Oh, and there's that thumb thing. . . .

15 comments:

Sharon said...

B&N has other issues as well. The own eReader but doesn't look like you can move those books to the nooks. Too many devices, not enough compatibility. BTW I ordered an iPad. Reading on my iPhone is OK (typing on it right now) but a bigger screen would be nice.

Margaret said...

Love love love your post today! I have the Cee Cee Honeycutt book on hold at the library, so it's nice to read your review of it. I also love your nook review. I really want an e-reader. My sister has the Kindle and really likes it, and it's nice to know you like the nook, too...and the thumb swipe capabilities sound amazing! :) Maybe by the time I can get a nook, BN will have worked out the kinks. :)

Christi said...

I'm so glad someone has posted something about the nook. I'm trying to decide which reader to purchase. Thanks!

Cathi Green said...

Such an informative post! Been thinking about a nook for my mom.

Samantha said...

That book looks great. I'll have to add it to my "to read" list. I was interested to hear your input on the Nook. I have a 1st generation Kindle, and love it, especially how easy it is to take it with me. I think the iPad, like the reviews have said, will be too big to really use as an ereader like what we've seen so far. It'll be great to use almost as a netbook, but I think the screen will be harder on the eyes than the epaper on the current readers. I guess time will tell. I won't rule it out as a future purchase (heck, I love my toys! LOL!), but will stick with my Kindle for my books. :)

As for the treadmill... Be careful!!

annabelle g said...

I know ebooks are the future and its good to have reviews of readers so thank you. But I still love the feel of a book in my hands and the smell of them...maybe I'm nuts :)

Nicki, said...

I've wondered what people ultimately thought of the Nook versus the Kindle. At one point, I used to peel though a book every other day (generously supplied by my mom, an avid reader) - and my husband was really pushing the Kindle. I'm not reading as much for one reason or another, so he's backed off; but I'm sure its a matter of time ... he LOVES gadgets.

Lauren Hartman said...

I haven't paid attention to the ereaders at all, so it's nice to read about what you think of yours!

Suzy said...

great post, I love your reviews!

Reds said...

Would love to get the Nook... can't find it here though :(

Jess said...

Oh wow, that book sounds SOOO GOOD! I truly enjoyed reading your review of it, and of the nook!

Maria said...

I like this second screensaver from Alice in Wonderland, too!

Marcy said...

Nice picture! I didn't even know that a nook existed. That's exciting that there is competition for the Kindle because that means they will get better and cheaper. I'm glad to see that you can walk and read at the same time. I have a hrd time doing that! An e-reader is definitly on my long list. Working on a 2.8 zoom, something on the order of 28-75.

Char said...

Thank you so much for coming by my blog and leaving me such a sweet comment! I LOVE comments!
I have to admit that I had no idea a nook existed. I have the Kindle on my wish list though! COuld be because we don't have a B&N up here. Enjoyed reading your review! I am always looking for a another good book to read. I really like your blog and plan to try out the morning glory muffins! You have been added to my reader. Hello new friend :)

Barb said...

I am going to get the E-reader for Bob's birthday this year. I think he would really like it and I can borrow it sometimes.