Friday, July 16, 2010

The B & N nook, a New Owner's Perspective in Three Parts [Part 3, Dollars and Sense]

This is the last article in a three-part series on the Barnes and Noble nook and ebooks.
  1. First Impressions and Recommendations
  2. Capabilities and Ease of Use
  3. Dollars and Sense
 Dollars and Sense 

    In a recent article for Barron's online, author John Steele Bordon wrote about the impact on digital readers and journalism in an article titled "Journalism's Next Revolution."

    In the article he states the following: "The iPad signals the long-awaited end of the era of cutting down trees, turning them into paper, printing words on it, distributing it across a vast country and then recycling it or throwing it into landfills the next day." Although a significant amount of the article uses the iPad as an example, the focus of the article is the impact of the digital printing revolution on the newspaper.

    The nook also offers subscriptions to twenty newspapers and about a dozen magazines. The newspaper selection was much richer than the magazine list. The point here is that the nook along with other digital readers is embracing the capability of portable, ecological reading of news.

    I've discussed this movement to digital publishing in two previous articles (see the label "independent publishing" in the left sidebar for more): 
    My main interest, though, is buying and reading books. Having the capacity of loading free books is the selling point for me for the nook. Buying an ebook can be cheaper--downloading a free book is the best price.


    Let's take a book like Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code.
    • Price from the public library = free (especially if you ride your bike there)
    • Price from Abe Books (used), hardback and shipping = 1.00 + 2.77 = 3.77
    • New paperback at Amazon = 9.99 (new hardback prices = Abe's)
    • Barnes and Noble: PB = 8.99; HB = 194.40 (no used books) 
    • Barnes and Noble ebook = 6.49 (same $ Kindle ebook at Amazon)
    Want to read it once? Check it out at the public library--the book is "recycled" many times. Want to own the book and don't mind packing it around? Buy it used. (This is a form of "recycling" but still includes the carbon footprint of shipping.)

    For me, the real savings, both environmental and personal, come from acquiring free classics in ebook format:
    The nook at this time did not directly transfer for ManyBooks and Project Gutenberg, but conversion with the Calibre software was straightforward.

     I think of all the trees, gasoline, and shelf space that I am saving by having access to a digital reader, and I am happy that I am learning about the printing press of the future.

    Feel free to post comments or ask questions. I'm sure I'm not the only person in the world scratching my head or having an "ah ha!" moment regarding digital publishing.

    Copyright 2010 by Thomas L. Kepler, all rights reserved


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