Monday, November 29, 2010

My New NOOKcolor, part 2

What I'm reading: Husband for Hire, by Susan Wiggs (eBookwise); Killer Heat, by Brenda Novak (NOOKcolor); The Object of His Protection, by Brenda Jackson (print)

Since I bought my NOOKcolor primarily as a book reading device, I thought I should spend a little time evaluating it in that regard. Yes, it does a lot more, but I'm saving those bells and whistles for future posts. If you missed my overall first impressions of the device, they're here. And again, I'm doing these posts to try to help others who might be considering getting an e-reader. As I've said before (often), it's about choices.

The NOOKcolor (NC) comes with some sample books pre-loaded. Some are free; others are samples only, and you have to purchase them. For starters, I used those books as a way to test the features of the NC.

The home screen has 3 pages. The top portion of each page displays whatever covers you care to put there. Right now, I'm only using 1 of them. The bottom shows your most recent downloads and they scroll separately.

Ease of reading: Excellent. I tested it in the car, in bed in the dark, and under normal household lighting. Between the ability to change background color and brightness, and the optional anti-glare screen, I think it would be readable in most conditions. It's too cold right now to sit outside and read, so I haven't tested it that extensively.

Page turning. While I miss the button-pushing, it didn't take long to adjust to the page turning with a swipe of my thumb. I can hold the NC in my left hand, propped on either the bed or my belly-shelf, and use my left thumb to read on-handed.

Pagination. Unlike the eBookwise, which counts pages as 'screens', the NC sticks to the original book pages, which are displayed in the upper right corner as "3 of 302", etc. If you enlarge the font, then you might go through a couple of screens before the number shifts, but it's easy to see how much more book you have to go. In addition, there's a slide bar at the bottom so you can move back and forth. There's also the bookmark option. Tapping the upper right corner of any page will insert a bookmark, and you can go back to that page.

And the NC remembers exactly where you left off in any book you're reading. If you're reading several books (or sharing your device with the Hubster, there's the "More" menu that lets you pick and choose recent reads.

Navigation: This is one area I'm still playing with. The silver "nook" button at the bottom of the page takes you to your home screen at any time. Backing up sometimes means going 'home' first, then re-navigating to where you were, but I'm sure I'll discover the shortcuts as I play around more.

Below are shots of some of the features of the NC--at least the ones I've tried. There are more, and as I discover them, I'll post them.

A typical reading screen, with a small font selected. One caveat: The pictures illustrating this post were taken with my little point-and-shoot, and the colors, especially of the samples of book pages, are NOT accurate. They appear green here, but are actually a very crisp black on white (although you can change that--more about that later. To save space, I've uploaded the images as small, but you should be able to click to enlarge them.

Tapping the bottom of any page brings up a menu with numerous options, including a slider bar so you move around the book if you want:

There's also a brightness control on this menu (and another in the general settings, so you don't have to be reading a book to control brightness)

You can also choose one of several fonts, each in a number of sizes:

And any of several background colors.

Tapping a word, or dragging your finger over any text bring up yet another menu:

For a more professionally done video comparing the NC to other comparable e-readers, you can go here.

(And, if anyone is wondering, yes, the picture on my home screen isn't one that came with the NC. I added it myself. Cute little bugger, isn't he?)

Come back tomorrow for my Tuesday guest, R. Sampson who is talking about 'letting go.' And if you have any questions about the NC, leave them in the comments, and I'll try to answer them.


Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Very impressive! So much more colorful than my Kindle, too.

Terry Odell said...

Elizabeth - thanks for the tweet! And the color's nice, but when you're reading, it's not really important, although the ability to change background colors is nice.

Carol Kilgore said...

Thanks so much for this. I'm holding out for Santa, but if he doesn't come through, then I have a lot of info so far to choose my own.

Terry Odell said...

Carol, just trying to help people make informed decisions. Thanks for stopping by.

Gale Stanley said...

Thanks Terry, very helpful. I have a Kindle but I'm considering the Nook for my granddaughter because of the touch screen and color.

Terry Odell said...

Gale - kids learn that touch screen very early on. Our granson isn't quite 3 and he's an expert at tapping and sliding.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this info, Terry. What size is the screen?
Liz Arnold
"Stories you will love!"
The Wild Rose Press

Terry Odell said...

Liz - it's around 7x4. The unit itself is 8x5

Amy Jane (Untangling Tales) said...

Can you reverse text/background? ie, read white text on a dark bg? (That's what I've done do far on my iphone and it makes the easiest reading in the dark.

Terry Odell said...

Amy Jane: Yes, that's the 'night' setting, although I find it easier to read when I use the gray background with the black text and turn the brightness almost all the way down. I have trouble with white on black.

Jemi Fraser said...

He sure is a cutie!!! :)

Sounds like a great ereader. I got a Kindle for my birthday and love it too. It doesn't have all those bells and whistles, but I enjoy it :)

amy said...

Thanks for the review, Terry. Sounds like a nice device. I think Santa might bring me one. ;-) It helps that Santa is getting a spendy present himself!

Re your home page photo: Yes, he's a cute little bugger. I do believe he resembles his daddy at that age.

Cindy Kirk said...


I'm curious...what made you choose the Nook over other ereaders? Were there specific features that set it apart?

Terry Odell said...

Jemi - I don't think one reader is really 'better' overall--it depends on what you want it for. (Hence my post!)

Amy - If I thought I could influence Santa, I would, but I have faith he'll come through for you. Did you want the color or the original nook?

Cindy - for me, it was ALL About the Back Light. My #1 reason to have a reader is for reading in bed, and I got totally addicted with my old eBookwise. Refused to give up that feature.

amy said...

Terry, you can advise Santa that I prefer the Nook Color. I really don't like the split screen on the regular Nook. I tried a demo model at the library, and found it awkward. The touch screen on the Color is much better. Plus, I want it for Web surfing and electronic magazine subscriptions as well as reading books, so color is better.

I see where Amazon is saying that reading a backlit screen can suppress melatonin production! But since they are trying to sell Kindles so I'll take that with a grain of salt.


Terry Odell said...

Amy - will do. Since there are so many different text/background/brightness combinations on the NOOKcolor, I think you can adjust it for maximum eye comfort. (And if I'm reading at 2 AM because I can't get back to sleep, I'm actually in favor of 'weary eyes' at that point.) So far, I find it's NOT the same as reading a computer monitor.

Sheila Deeth said...

It looks really cool. My Kindle arrived yesterday so I charged the battery and proved it would download my kindle library and open books--I even read one book quickly. But now it's back in its box waiting for Christmas.... a very tempting box...

amy said...

I think the melatonin thing was about causing insomnia not eyestrain. But, I'm not inclined to get my health information from Amazon!