The big news in the publishing world this week is that Barnes & Noble has officially joined the e-book reader battle. The company released nook, a product it hopes will steal some of the market from amazon's Kindle and Sony's Reader line of products.
BN is touting two major advantages of the nook over its competition. 1) Part of the display — where you can browse through books — is in color, and 2) You can lend your e-books to other nook users for up to 14 days. That's kind of cool, until you discover that you can't access a book you've lent, just like a physical book. Isn't it a bit odd that they went out of their way to add this restriction? Anyway, nook costs $259 (same price as Kindle), uses a 3G wireless connection and most new release books are available for $9.99.
What's your take on the e-book craze? It definitely elicits some strong opinions, mostly along the lines of "I need to have the touch and feel of the physical book in my hands, and I like collecting books for my shelves." Certainly valid points.
I'm not fundamentally opposed to the idea of the e-book reader — I don't own one myself, but if I traveled a bit more or had fewer unread books on my shelves, I could definitely see myself enjoying one. Besides, I think anything that gets people to read more is a good thing in my book, and that's exactly what's happening, according to this NY Times piece.
(Side note: Wal-Mart, amazon, Target and Sears are waging quite the price war on new and future best-sellers. For example, you can get all 1,088 pages of Stephen King's new novel Under the Dome, which comes out Nov. 10, online at any of these stores for about $9. It's list price is $35!)