Bob vs. The Nook

Commentary by Cherie Jung

(4 December, 2014)


It’s been several months now, okay…maybe almost a year, since I took the plunge and bought an e-reader; a Nook, to be specific. I’m still not impressed. For one thing, I hate all the ads or “reading suggestions” they clutter my device with every time I connect to purchase an e-book. I get it. It’s marketing. I just don't like it. I see it more as their way of trying to entice me to purchase stuff I don’t want or have the slightest interest in. In my case, I share the account with my husband. We each have a Nook. His is better than mine. I chose poorly, thinking I would be able to curl up with my little e-reader late at night and read to my heart’s content. Not without the model that has back-lighting you don’t read at night. Not unless you leave all the lights on in the room. And if you’re going to do that, you might as well grab a real book – a paper book – to read. (Or buy the fancier Nook in the first place.)

I also don’t appreciate the reading suggestions delivered to my Nook that might be of interest to my husband. Say, books on Winston Churchill. He might be interested, if he didn’t already own practically every book written on Churchill. Plus, the suggestions offered don’t seem to take into account what he has or doesn’t have. They just take up space and clutter my Nook. I suppose I could spend time getting rid of them but I didn’t want them in the first place!

Then there’s the prickly problem of e-galleys. Publishers are always offering me e-galleys. That, in itself, isn’t a problem. Having to go to a site (there are only a couple I’m aware of but more may exist) becomes problematic when I go there only to be told I don’t have permission for such-and-such book, assuming I’ve even been able to get that far. Many more times than I like to remember, the sites don’t recognize my sign-in ID or password. Sigh. The next annoying little problem is that my “time” runs out on some of the e-galleys before I’ve finished reading them. Surprisingly, I do have other things to do during my days (or nights) than read e-galleys.

Then there’s the actual reading. If I can finally get the right lighting, the right font and page size,  my access hasn’t expired and I’ve remembered to re-charge the battery on the Nook…I have to deal with two more frustrations. First, I read too fast. I can’t tap or swipe the Nook fast enough to allow me to keep reading at my own pace. Secondly, there is Bob. Bob is my 8-year-old silver grey cat who sits, perched near me, and taps or swipes the Nook with his paw. Unfortunately, he doesn’t always propel the pages forward. Usually he is back-tracking, as if I’ve turned the page before he was done reading.

I’m thinking for Christmas, I might get him his own Nook.


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