Monday, December 28, 2009

And the E-Winner is...

pages written since last post: 2

Over the last few days before Christmas, the debate changed from whether or not I would get an e-reader to a much simpler choice: which one. Yes, the nook is too cool for words (it has color! At least of the book covers) , and Barnes and Noble has posted a terrific comparison chart between the nook and the Kindle. The nook claims to have over one million titles (although a cursory search revealed several titles that were available on Kindle were not available on nook), and the pricing between nook and Kindle is pretty much the same for the device and books to read on it. The size, weight and features of both devices are virtually the same (but the nook has color!). My choice: The Amazon Kindle. Here is why, in order of importance:
1)Speedy delivery. I wanted it over the holidays, while I had a little bit of time to play with it. Amazon.com promised 2-day delivery, and by George, I got it. The nook, on the other hand, would be delivered on or about Feb. 1.
2)Trust. See above about promises.
3) Customer Service. As soon as my order was processed, Amazon.com sent me an e-mail inquiring whether I would like to purchase books for my new reader, and promising they would be delivered to my Kindle en route. Did I order books? You bet! And I just loved thinking about the technology that could track down my little Kindle on some FedEx truck somewhere and send to it the books that I had personally chosen, so that I would have something to read when it arrived. Maybe I'm easily impressed, but that's what I call service.
4)Convenience. Everything I needed to know about my purchase was available right there at my fingertips. I did not have get in my car and drive anywhere to receive the benefits of my Kindle (the nook implies that some of its most desirable features are only activated when you walk into a B&N store).
5)Free shipping. Okay, on a $259 purchase, free shipping does seem like the least they could do, but it was a nice touch.
6) One-click shopping. They just make it too easy.

And as I glance at the above list, I realize that those are, for the most part, the reasons I've always chosen Amazon.com over a brick-and-mortar bookstore. Almost since its inception, bookstores (and publishers, oddly enough) have felt threatened by Amazon.com. Speaking strictly as a consumer, maybe they should be.

So now I am sitting on top of a mountain where high speed internet only became available three years ago and where the waiting list for best sellers at the local library is still six-plus months, the proud new owner of a Kindle e-book reader. How do I like it?

Stay tuned...

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