Why the Nook won my dollars over Kindle

Fri 18 July 2014 by Fred Clift

Summer Vacation Time.

So I vacation on the beach every summer. I read a lot. This year I decided I would try out an ebook reader. Because the plan is to be outdoors on the beach, E-Ink readers seem to be the way to go. There are two big names for new readers Barnes & Nobles Nook (Simple Touch Glowlight) and Amazons Kindle (Paperwhite - with light...).

This is not going to be one of those long drawn out technical comparisons. There are plenty of those out there. For me, it came down to two things - supported formats, and manufacturer business model.

The kindle supports amazon's proprietary formats AZWx, txt pdf, mobi, prc. The Nook supports epub and pdf. Note that both claim to support more formats either through some form of file conversion, which I'm fully capable of doing myself, or only "support" them with air quotes. For instance the Nook supports several popular image formats, but only for it's screensaver. I own a large number of ebooks in epub format, and the reader software I use on my android phone (FBReader) uses epub as it's primary format also. I occasionally use the great open-source software Calibre to convert ebooks from one format to another, even though the the process of doing so is clunky and complicated.

As far as business models go, with the kindle, unless you pay a non-trivial amount more, you get (not very obtrusive) advertisements. If I pay for something, I'd rather not become a revenue source and ad target because of it. Also, the Nook has a much simpler register-without-a-credit-card process, though you can successfully register a kindle without a credit card, irritating but possible.

Technically, I think I might like the kindle more... but... Nook is what I spent my money on.