Nook and Kindle eReaders Compared

A short time after I started using a Droid, I found myself in the middle of a what’s the real-world impact of the decisions I make?” conversation. I’ve always looked a technology as a means to an end, and while I know about the latest and greatest toys before most people I rarely own them early; I prefer to stay off that bleeding edge.

Occasionally, I get caught up in things that are cool. Again, I rarely jump, but I’ve come close. I almost went iPhone last year when Steve Jobs passed on, but that was an emotional reaction at a whole different level then I prefer to manage business change through. And I ultimately stayed Android, buying a Galaxy Nexus despite Verizon Wireless Customer Service displaying ineptitude at a level like none I’d ever seen.

Last week, for the first time ever, I found myself thinking I might buy an e-Reader.

Let me be clear: the impulse passed. I don’t need an e-Reader; I read books on my not-quite-a-tablet-but-looks-great-anyway SmartPhone, and it’s honestly good enough. I have a Barnes and Noble NOOK application in there. I have the Amazon Kindle App for Android. I have Google Play Books, and I have a generic ePub reader.

And that’s one of the two reasons I’m not buying an eReader, and I don’t think you should buy one, either.

There’s a piece of me that sees this as yet another “toy” conversation, but since the definition of toy is personal, let’s not get too involved in that issue. eReaders are actually kinda cool, and are inexpensive enough that maybe they deserve serious consideration. But with more and more of us buying SmartPhones—and with them having larger, higher-quality screens—let’s please remember that eReaders are redundant; you already have one in your pocket.

Redundancy notwithstanding, the real issue with eReaders is that once you find the right features, for the most part you’re locking yourself into doing business with just one bookstore if you buy a NOOK or a Kindle, and locking yourself out of Amazon and Barnes and Noble if you choose otherwise.

Apple, of course, thinks that’s a great idea; they’d like you to buy your eBooks only from them.

Despite knowing all of this, consulting on business change ideas like it, and having become pretty good at separating hype from practical details, NOOK Simple Touch™ with GlowLight™ made me jump a little, because reading the darned thing in the dark while not disturbing someone lying next to you sounds like the eBook killer app.

Oh wait . . . I have that on my Galaxy Nexus.  And yet, NOOK Simple Touch™ with GlowLight™  almost got me.

If you’re hell-bent on buying an eReader, and if you’re OK buying all your books going forward from Barnes and Noble, the NOOK Simple Touch™ with GlowLight™ looks pretty great. It’s light, it’s priced right, and the technology package Barnes and Noble has put together is terrific.

But if you’re anything like pragmatic . . . well . . . look for your business change elsewhere. Like, here.

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