Which Ereader is Best, the Kindle or Nook?

In the past year alone there has been an explosion in sales for ereaders and digital books.  As an author writing for a predominantly ebook based company, The Wild Rose Press, I’m quite excited about the rocketing interest in the digital media and agonizing over which eReader to get for my fast approaching birthday.  I’ve narrowed it down to two readers and am debating between Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble‘s nook.  The following information regarding both ereaders comes from a knowledgeable family friend.

Regarding Amazon’s Kindle he says: ‘In terms of the readers I like the Kindle for these reasons 1) Whispernet which is free internet access through the cell (not the wifi) networks, so you’re always connected, whether you’re near a wifi spot or not. 2) the constant archive so that you don’t need to keep all books on the reader but can upload and download them at will. 3) the fact that you can email books that you’ve bought not through Amazon (if you don’t want to download it through a computer, which all readers can do) to your personalized kindle email address (yes they give your kindle an email address). The last costs money though.

What I don’t like is the devices fragility. So if you buy the Kindle you absolutely must, don’t even think about not, buy the extended warranty. The extended warranty means that if you break it, you send it to them and they replace it for free, no questions asked. You WILL use this service. Trust me! What my family did is we bought several kindles linked them all through one account and now have a family archive that at last count was 1,400 books that we can all access and upload and download at will. This brings us to the hidden downside of the Whispernet which is that since you can always access Amazon no matter where you are it is VERY easy to spend boatloads of money.

As to pricing, Amazon has a basic Kindle for $139 but is sold out and taking names on a waiting list.  Kindle 2 is currently $189. Kindle DX is $359. Kindle software for Mac, Ipod, Ipad, PC is free. I would stay away from the Ipad except as a device to use the Kindle software. I’m not hearing great things about the apple Ibooks store compared to the Amazon and Barnes and Noble stores.’ *Bear in mind that a price war of sorts is underway so prices may change from what I’ve listed here.*


Now regarding Barnes&Noble’s Nook he says: ‘I admit I don’t know as much about it. Wifi capable (but no whispernet), if you live close to a Barnes and Noble (I don’t) I might actually go with that since you get free wifi access to the Nook there and all Barnes and Noble’s now have special “Nook Options” to their stores so they tell me. If you don’t live within easy access to bookstores I think the Kindle might be the way to go. I like the Nook interface a bit more than the keypad on the Kindle. Finally the cool part about the Nook is the “lend” function where you can lend a book you like to someone else who has a Nook and they can then use it for free for 2 weeks. So for me, if I hadn’t gone out of my way to forge that family archive, and I lived close to a Barnes and Noble, I would probably have gone Nook. However Kindle was first, so I went that way. In terms of the software Kindle software now comes in every format (Mac, PC, Ipad, Ipod, Kindle(s)) so I suspect that in terms of the business plans that will hold out that the Kindle has won the “reader wars” at least from the software perspective.’  *nook Wi-Fi is currently $149.00 3G Wi-Fi is $199.00

*Another excellent resource for info on ereaders is Kim Komando’s website:

*Please bear in mind, whichever ereader you go with, that my books are available in digital download from my publisher, The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, Barnes &Noble, and many other online booksellers.  And please let me know how you like your ereader.

44 responses to “Which Ereader is Best, the Kindle or Nook?

  1. Great, informative blog. My husband, the news hound, has been watching the downslide of Barnes and Noble stock. Rumor is that Amazon is interested in either buying B&N or their Nook, making them the “go to” outfit for eReaders. This is a rumor, of course, so take it with a grain of salt. I plan on asking for an eReader for Christmas so was pleased you’d explained things so well since I am quite clueless in this area. I would not have bought the warranty, but your comments will make me think long and hard about doing so. My son, an English teacher, is greatly enamored of his Kindle. Again, so much needed and appreciated info in your blog. Thanks!!!


  2. I have a version 1 Kindle. It came with a hard back leather-covered carrier which I use all the time when reading like a *ah ha* book.

    I love it and have had no repair issues.

    The Barnes & Noble issue is troubling, so I would probably avoid the Nook for now if I were in the mind to purhcase a new one.


  3. Last year I bought a Kindle because I was just *dying* for one. 😉 Didn’t love it at all. Didn’t even like it a little bit. Can’t explain specifically why, I just didn’t. Didn’t use it. I think I bought 2 books and never read either one because I just didn’t like the reader. I ended up selling it to recoup my investment.

    About a couple of months ago, we went into B&N and I was able to play with a Nook. At the time, I was seriously considering the Sony eReader and was getting ready to purchase one. But after playing with the Nook in-store, I fell in love with it. A couple weeks later I went back and bought one. LOVE, love, LOVE my Nook! I decided to get the WiFi, rather than the 3G, simply because I knew I wouldn’t use the 3G very much so for me it would be a waste of money. I only wish the battery would last longer on it, but for a small investment I’ll probably buy a second battery for backup.


  4. Hi Beth. Great information here. I have a SONY e-reader. It’s very convenient and easy to use. I like being able to make the font larger and when reading a really long book, it doesn’t weigh you down 🙂

    Which ever you choose, I’m sure you’ll love it!


  5. Hi Beth,

    I can’t really compare the two, but I have to say how much I love my Kindle. I’ve never had any problems with it and it is easy on the eyes. There is no back light, which I like.

    The Nook may be great too, I don’t know. My sister has a Sony e-reader and likes hers too. As far as the ipad. I’m not ready for all those gadgets yet. I have enough things to side track me from writing as it is. (grin)

    Good luck. I’m sure you’ll love either one.

    Dawn Chartier


  6. Hi Beth,

    I love my Sony Touch. I had reservations about the Kindle and Nook. The Nook was just being released when I bought my Sony, and they weren’t in the stores yet. The Kindle could only be bought through Amazon on-line.

    I wanted to play with the e-reader before I bought it. My other concerns was being able to download books from multiple publishers, before this I read e-books on my computer in PDF, and had lots of books on my computer I hadn’t read yet.

    At the time the Nook nor the Kindle would allow you to download PDF, I know this has now changed, but someone told me you have to pay to have the PDF converted to the Nook or Kindle.

    With the Sony I can download books from any publisher, in PDF and put them in my library. I don’t have to worry about being near a Wi-Fi (for the Nook). My other concern about the Nook and Kindle was privacy. I’d heard about Amazon taking books back from Kindle users (don’t remember the details). To me that was an invasion of my privacy and didn’t want any company to have that kind of access.

    I’ve heard others mention Sony keeps track of what books you by from the e-store. All on-line bookstores do this, but Sony can’t link to my e-reader and take my books away.

    I wouldn’t trade my Sony, I love it too much.


  7. Hi Beth,
    Like Maria, I have a Sony and love it…mine is a little old (2 years), so it doesn’t have the touch feature, but it’s great. I actually like the aspect of downloading books to my computer before they go onto my reader, since I have a backup that way in my Sony ebook library folder. Also, I don’t like the fact that Amazon can retroactively retrieve and delete files…too “Big Brother” to me.



    • Do you think Sony will hang in there? And if they don’t will the reader still perform the same? It’s not dependent on the company is it? I’m hearing a lot of good things about Sony. What’s up with this big brother Amazon thing?


      • The Kindle allows Amazon the capacity to retrieve and delete files from individuals after they’ve been purchased. That’s actually happened due to a copyright issue..apparently something was sold that should have been, and Amazon deleted it off readers…I doubt that happens often.

        I think Sony will keep going. It’s a known brand and very versatile.


  8. I have to make this same choice and am favoring the Kindle, especially as rumor has it that B&N is up for sale.


  9. I have a Kindle 2 and I love it. I know a little bit about Kindles and Nooks. Things that I wanted my ereader to do: Read Audio books. Both Kindle and Nook do that. The “make or break” factor for me, was that Kindle has Text to Speech.

    What does that mean? It reads to me. *grin*

    For me, time management is always an issue and I have my time budgeted down to a tee. With Text to Speech, the Kindle reads me my books while on my 40 min drive to work and on my drive home from work. That has helped me keep up my reading. The Nook, I believe Doesn’t have that feature.

    The voice can be programed for male or female, but I don’t mind the male. For the most part the pronouncation is accurate, and it doesn’t sound that robotatic.

    Hope that helps


  10. Beth,

    One thing I forgot to add on the Sony, is I can increase the font size – this is a great feature, because some of the print is small, I put it up to medium or large and I can read it just like a paper back version.

    I also have a cover for my Sony which makes me feel like I’m holding a book.


  11. Beth, I appreciate this post. I have been dropping heavy hints to my dh that I want a Kindle for my birthday in September. I even forwarded your post to him. LOL From what I’ve heard, you can adjust the text size on all of the e-readers. My friend who has a Kindle said she can. The new audio feature is supposed to be more life-like and less like the weather station voice. My friend whose husband has macular degeneration has purchased that one for him. Good to know about the insurance for them, though. I never buy the service policy for things because my husband is an electronics wizard. In this case, though, I can see where the service policy would be a very good investment. Thanks for the info!


  12. I can’t speak to the Nook or the Sony reader but I’m a dedicated Kindle fanatic.

    I just ordered the new Kindle (3). I’ve had a Kindle 2 for close to two years and I LOVE it but I’m giving that one to my daughter the English major. The one thing I have wished for is better contrast — and the new version provides that, along with wi-fi, in addition to, or without the 3G Whispernet option. Price for the wi-fi only version is $139, I think. I sprang for the $189 model with the 3G option since it works world wide for no additional fees and I have plans to travel a lot in the next few years. I also bought the standard leather cover since I have one of those on the Kindle 2 and find it useful to both protect the screen and so it doesn’t slip in my hands when I’m reading. I’ve never had any problem with my Kindle and I carry it all over the place, mostly shoved into my purse or stashed in the car.

    Software upgrades on the Kindle 2 (free, btw) have included a landscape orientation option, larger fonts, and recently, though I haven’t had a chance to play with it yet, categories, which sounds like folders. I love that Amazon keeps my archived books for me and I absolutely adore the free sample option(which Nook may have, too… I haven’t checked it out that specifically). I use it as a way to “test drive” a new author and as a digital TBR pile. The best thing is that whether I’m on Amazon.com or browsing on my Kindle or just hear about a book I want to check out I’ve got multiple options to order the sample, including the Kindle app on my phone, and I don’t have to wonder what that book was that I wanted to check out.

    I generally keep the whispernet turned off so my battery lasts about a month. Closer to 10-12 days if I leave it on.

    It took a little getting used to reading an e-reader, but I’m a total convert. I actually get pissed when the Kindle version isn’t available, or worse, is priced higher than the paper version of the book (thanks entirely to the publishers’ agency pricing model). I don’t buy those books.

    Oh, and you can email .pdf files to your Kindle directly for a fee ($.10 I think). It used to be that Amazon had to convert them but I think now you can just copy them from your computer to your Kindle as if it was an external hard drive. The recent software update is supposed to make scrolling through the pdf files easier, too, but I haven’t played with that yet.

    I can speak to the iPad since my husband has one. It’s a lot pricier, but all the electronic readers seem to have apps for it and it is a gorgeous screen. My husband is a convert. Of course it does lots of other things, too, but as a reader it’s pretty good. It’s backlit so it eats the battery time a lot faster than my Kindle does.

    Okay, I’ll stop now. 🙂



  13. Thanks for this post. Like you I’m considering an ereader but don’t know which one to go for so enjoyed your blog and am finding the responses extemely interesting.


  14. Beth,
    I love my Nook. I downloaded e-books from my computer to my Nook with a simple cable. The nearest Barnes & Noble is about a half hour drive, but I have a router on my home computer so I’m able to access the Barnes & Noble website and download books directly from B&N and it automatically charges to my paypal account. I can also access email and the internet from my Nook, though, I must admit, I hate texting and the touch screen is like texting. One finger typing sucks!

    I also love the comfort of holding it, even when lying in bed. No pages to fight and when I turn it off and back on again, it goes to the page where I left off.

    If you get the Nook, I think you’ll be pleased.

    And, Happy Birthday!


  15. Pingback: Which Ereader Is For You? « One Writer's Way

  16. Great post Beth and very helpful. I appreciate all the effort that went into it. You answered my question perfectly. Thanks!


  17. I’m adding this comment for JoAnne Kenrick. she says,

    “Try looking at a Sony Pocket or touch. It’s easy to get your work on it as RTF. And the major benefits of the Sony is the fact that it reads various formats and has a cool category sorting feature. Which means you can search for books via series, genre or anything you like. I looked at Kindle, and didn’t like the whispernet (instant shopping – dangerous!) and the closed format. Nook was hard
    to navigate when I tried in the store, and felt cheap much like the Kindle. But the Nook does have extras that are worth considering, like being able to ‘borrow’ friends books and reading free books while in a barnes and noble.
    It’s a big choice, and it all depends what your main needs are as to which device would be better for you. It took me months to decide, and Angela James and her constant advocation of the Sony swayed me. I totally made the right
    choice. I love my Sony 505. Good luck with making your decision xxx


  18. Oh, dear. Now I’m just plain confused. I’d decided on the Nook but with worries about Barnes and Noble’s stability, I don’t know.

    I’ve had an ebookwise reader for years and love it except for the fact it doesn’t take pdf and I have to convert the file before loading it. The conversion does strange things to the text.

    I don’t like the fact that the Kindle is so fragile and I’d need a service warranty.

    And as another commentor mentioned, I hate it when the ebook prices are as high, or higher, as a print book. However, I much prefer to read on my reader than a paper book.

    No one has mentioned if they’re able to do any highlighting or write notes in the margins with any of the readers.

    Decisions, decisions!


  19. I’ve had a Nook since March and absolutely love it. But honestly, I’d probably love whatever ereader I’d chosen.

    I did a post a few weeks ago on my blog about my experience if any of your readers are interested.


    Every book I buy through BN is archived on my online acct with them, so I’m not worried about losing anything.

    My favorite thing about the Nook? Free book Friday! I’ve tried some authors I might never have known about before.

    Good luck and keep us posted on your choice.


  20. Thanks for the useful information, Beth. I’m woefully ignorant about e-readers. It’s something I’ve got to learn about and your post and comments have been enlightening.


  21. Thank you very much my friend, you are very kind in sharing this useful information with? others….
    The details were such a blessing, thanks.


  22. OK guys, it’s my birthday–today–and decision time. After an unbelievable amount of debate over which ereader to choose, I have gone with Kindle. Ordered it today and am on a waiting list until later this month or into next until it comes. I hope it’s as user friendly as I’m told because I’m not the best at gadgets, so we shall see. I intend to report in and tell you all how I like it. Hoping for the best!


  23. Thanx for putting this content here. It is purely informative, especially for me.


  24. wow.. this is what i am searching for.. nice post, i need something like this so interesting to read


  25. I wish bethtrissel would come back and let us know how she likes the Kindle. But the deciding factor for me is that with the Nook I will be able to access all the free books from our County library. Can’t do that with Kindle.
    That settled it for me…..I’ve made my Christmas wish known to my daughters.


    • I like the Kindle very much, just had trouble figuring out how to upload other ebooks from my laptop to it, but think this new program I downloaded called Calibre Ebook management will do that for me. And it’s FREE.


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