Sunday, March 4, 2012

Notes on the Nook Simple Touch

Call me stupid. I probably needed this thing like a hole in the head, but I bought a Simple Touch. It normally costs $99.00. I got a 10% discount, had a $45.00 Barnes and Noble Gift Card and a $30.00 Rebate Visa Card that needed to be used before it accumulated fees. So, it cost a little more than $20.00 "out of pocket," as they say. Cost "out of pocket" is, of course, a category whose usefulness presupposes a certain amount of stupidity. It cost $94.00 with taxes. I could used the $74.00 for other, perhaps more useful things, like books, perhaps.

One of the reasons why I bought the Nook Touch was my thought that I could root it and use it as an Android device, as this article describes it. Well, it did not work, or, perhaps better, it only worked intermittently and so unreliably that I gave up on it.

So I now have two e-reders: the Kindle Keyboard (didn't have "keyboard' in its name when I bought it) and the Nook Simple Touch. I have never had ANY real complaints about the Kindle. It does what it is advertised to do. I can even take notes on it with the pitiful chicklet type keyboard. The notes and quotes can easily be transferred to the desktop because they are stored in a Text file.

The Nook has a very nice onscreen keyboard. In fact, it is the best I have ever seen. I can easily thumb-type on it. And I did not make any mistake on a five-hundred-word note the very first time around.

Great! But there is one — to my mind — fatal problem. The notes are locked on the device. There is no way to get them out of the device at all. This makes them more or less useless for the long run.

There is, however, one way to get information out of the thing. It has e-mail capability. You can "share" your reading experience with friends, i.e. you can send an e-mail message to contacts you define beforehand. These contacts must have an account with Barnes and Noble. Since you can use yourself as a contact, i.e. yourself with a different e-mail address, you can sent notes to yourself. The note is primarily a big advertisement for Barnes and Noble and the Nook, but it does work — at least for now.

In fact, the Nook is much more commercialized than the Kindle. The "Home Page" is actually a Barnes and Noble Website that pushes popular books on the user. In my case, they are exactly the kinds of books I would never dream of buying. I may not have bought enough books from them yet, so they don't me yet. But the fact is noteworthy in at least one other respect. It shows that this Nook has a Web-browser just as it has e-mail capability. In earlier versions, the Web-browser could be accessed and used in a fashion. Now it is disabled for any other use than accessing Barnes & Noble. The same thing is true of the e-mail capability. It is used as a vehicle of advertising for Barnes & Noble and it allows comments by a user only to entice them to engage in advertising. I would not be at all surprised, if the ability to send messages to yourself will be eliminated as soon as Barnes & Noble figures out that this does not benefit them.

The only things I can recommend it for is that it reads ePub files natively and that it has a nice onscreen keyboard. I checked out the onscreen keyboard of the Kindle Touch. It's bad ... really bad.

I hope one of my children or grand-children will take the NOOK off my hands. I do not dare to hope that Barnes & Noble will allow you to actually use your notes or improve the e-mail capability or that the Kindle Touch will get a better keyboard and e-mail.[1]

1. You may ask why I would like this capability, as I also own an iPad II and it obviously can do all I want and more. The reason is the form factor. The two touch e-readers are so small and light that you could carry them everywhere without really noticing them.


Computers Have Ruined My Life said...

I'm enjoying my Nook Simple Touch. I rooted it but have just experimented with a few Android apps. As a tablet, leaves a lot to be desired. Haven't tried the advanced features yet, but so far it's nice for just reading a book.

Diana Guess said...

I needed an eReader to read my favorite books downloaded from All you can books, so I bought the Nook Simple Touch... I've read many good feedback and reviews about it, so it was necessary to try it :D I chose very well, because I love to take it everywhere with me and reading some interesting books when I have a little spare time.

MK said...

I agree it is not a great Android device. But it does short notes very well. I use Evernote.