Hooray For Simplicity!

Posted by: Lisa,

If you know me, you know that I am a Barnes and Noble / nook fan.  And that I coerced my husband to buy me one for my birthday back when they were $250 and included Wi-Fi and 3g.

Well, I just bought a new one.  The simple reader version.

Before you start to think I've gone mad, let me first state that most of the money was from a gift card that was given to me from my place of employment for working on a project.

But - other than that - my reasoning is, it's brilliant.  My original nook, as much as I have enjoyed it, has a clunky interface and features like games and a web browser that I don't ever use.  (Though a quick google search says there's a "hidden" browser on the simple touch that I can find through the search feature - woo hoo!)  It's also just a tad heavier than I want an ereader to be, and the buttons used for turning pages have cracked.  (Um, yeah - there's my excuse for buying a new one - it's "broken!")
Whoever designed the new simple version actually considered the features most likely to be used by someone who just wants to read and put them rationally into one device.  Even though I'll miss the 3G, I hardly use it.  Most places where I read, I have access to WiFi, and all I have to do is plan ahead a little if I'm going to a place that doesn't.

I'm also very happy with the new e-ink touch screen.  Much easier to use than that blasted little color screen on the original nook, and it responds much faster as well.  In my opinion, e-ink is the way to go if you want to read on electronic devices.  It may even be easier on your eyes than a sheet of paper.

I think that Barnes and Noble has some very smart marketeers and product managers in charge these days.  They've set up an array of eReader products that cater to both the "kitchen sink" (nook color) and "just want to read" (nook simple touch) consumers.  They also set up their brick and mortar stores very smartly.  Notice how you can walk into a Barnes and Noble, and they sell more than just books.  I noticed that they took the large space that used to be used for selling CDs and movies (things that people now get online) and converted it into an area for educational toys.  I also noticed that they now sell a lot of puzzles and board games.  I think this shows how they are shifting their strategy so that they can attract people to get books online, serve people who still want to read printed paper, and sell products that will attract people to come to their stores.  Also, the stores are very inviting with lots of places to sit, and a cafe.  They are also luring people into the stores with planned events for adults and children.  These are great ideas, and I think they will help Barnes and Noble to not go the way of Borders.

So far, I can think of one thing they should have included. The original nook tells you what time it is in the top right hand corner of the screen while you're reading. Considering my tendency to get sucked into books and spend way more time reading than I should, it's a good idea to be able to glance up and see what time it is. :-)


MelloLisa's Daily Detritus is personal blog that I update with entries about my life as a computer geek and amateur musician. If you have any questions or comments, please email me!

"True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us." - Socrates

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