Last year for Christmas, my daughter (then eight-years-0ld) received an eReader from her grandparents. At first, I was not sure how I felt about ebook readers in general, but my daughter, who had been an avid reader up until this point, had been lagging in the literacy department. Her grandmother thought an eReader would be a great idea, and it was. It was just what she needed to spark her interest in reading again. In the course of a year, my daughter read over 100 books on her eReader, that is, until it died this weekend. This post is motivated by that experience.
Barnes and Noble NOOK eBook Reader DO NOT BUY!
The Nook is the eReader my daughter was given. From the get go, this eReader has been nothing but trouble. It required registration at a Barnes and Noble store in order to be used, which is a 2.5 hour drive for us (B & N has since corrected this problem). It repeatedly got stuck and had to be restored to factory defaults. Quite often, books purchased on the Nook would not open and had to be sideloaded. This is a work around Nook users have come to think of as normal, if you read the forums, but I still find unacceptable.
After eight months, our Nook developed a crack in the outer bevel plastic. This was a known issue to B & N, so they replaced our Nook with ease. Our replacement Nook lasted only five months before the e-ink screen failed. It is now useless, and B & N refuses to replace the device because the one year warranty on the originally purchased Nook has expired (not even by a month). As you can I imagine, I am livid!
I find the Nook (when it works) to be very awkward to use. The response time is really slow, especially if you are used to a gadget that actually works, like an iPhone, iPad, or iPod. It is clunky in its slowness.
If we had had a smooth experience with both of our Nooks, I would think our e-ink failure was just a fluke; however, reading on B & N’s forums, we are not the only one with this problem. Our Nook has never been dropped; never been abused in anyway. I expect a device to last longer than five months! I could not get the technical support supervisor to agree to this statement. Also, the wait time when you call technical support is usually an hour. I will no longer support Barnes and Noble.
Ironically, the Nook app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch is great! Thankfully we can still access our eBooks purchased from B & N on these trustworthy devices.
Due to my six-year-old son’s special needs, his school got him an iPad. This device is so easy to use. There are so many wonderful learning apps, and it is so intuitive to use the touch screen that even toddlers can figure it out. Of course, the iPad is more expensive than just a dedicated eReader, and we have yet to really use ours as such.
If the point of getting an eReader for your child is to encourage reading, then the iPad may be more of a distraction. If you want a device that can do just about everything, than the iPad is definitely the one to buy!
Another thing to consider is the iPad is the only device that is backlit. This may be a good thing if you plan to use it a lot in low light conditions for reading; however, it will cause greater eye strain than e-ink readers.
I have nothing but praise to say about the iPad, and I look forward to the iPad 2 coming out next year, which is rumored to be cheaper than the current models. It is reliable, and you can not beat Apple’s customer service!
We’ve decided to replace my daughter’s Nook with a Kindle. Since we already have an iPad, it seems best to get a dedicated eReader for her, so she is not distracted by the other apps. We know several people with Kindles, and no one has expressed any concerns or had any problems. The Kindle has been out now for four years, so I feel there is not the risk we took with buying the Nook.
I do no have personal experience using the Kindle yet, but I will update this post after we have given it a good run through. After our experience with the Nook, anything would seem better!
eReaders have been touted as environmentally-friendly because of the paper saved by reading books digitally. That may be true, but if a device lasts only a year, then it certainly is not worth all of the materials and energy used in its production. Buyer’s beware: Do NOT buy NOOK!