When I was back in school (Middle & High School) I was an avid reader. I would borrow 6 books or more at a time from the library and power through 1 to 2 a day. Unfortunately, college burnt me out a bit because I was required to read about 4 books a week and couldn't find the time to sit down and enjoy something that I chose to read versus something I was required to read. I did the math and realized that until recently, I went 7 years without picking up a book to read for fun. When I was asked to review a NOOK Simple Touch™ provided by Staples, I was head over heels excited. I've been eying the e-readers for awhile, dropped a few hints about Christmas and Birthday presents, but just never ended up getting one. We do have an HP Touchpad, but that monster of a tablet is quite heavy, and not really something I'd carry around just for the sake of reading a book. I did give our Touchpad a solid try when I powered through the first two books of 50 Shades of Grey (no comments from the peanut gallery please). But, it was awkward, cumbersome, heavy and really solidified why I wanted a NOOK.
When the NOOK Simple Touch™ arrived I was a little surprised of how compact the size of it is. I don't know what I was expecting since I wasn't really familiar with the different models NOOK offers. In fact, I don't think I had ever seen a NOOK up close and personal before. Now, if you've read any of my other electronics reviews you should know by now that I like things SIMPLE. I'm the type of person who would prefer phones to just be phones and not mini computers. I still couldn't tell you how to do anything on my smartphone except play a few games, send a text, take a picture, and make a call. I know, pathetic, right?
Thankfully, the creators of NOOK seemed to read my mind, or at least guessed that I'm not the only technology deficient person out there, and made this a very easy to use product. The first step to setting up the NOOK Simple Touch™... plug it in. It should be charged 100% before turning it on and finishing the setup process. It took quite a bit of time for it to charge, several hours at least. Once the charging process completed, it was time to turn it on, and figure out the next step. What I LOVED was that the NOOK Simple Touch™ actually walked you step by step through the entire setup process. I didn't even have to break out the instruction manual. You can even set up your NOOK account, and add a credit card right on the device (or you have the option to do it online). Whatever email address you chose when setting up the device, is the email address you'll use for your account online, and how people will be able to loan you books. Honestly I was a bit wary about putting in a credit card number, but I found out that you need to have one, even if you just want to download a free book, or borrow a book from someone. Otherwise, easy peasy, and within 10 minutes I had it all set up and ready to go.
- 6" E-Ink® touchscreen at a resolution 600 x 800 and 16-level Gray Scale
- Most advanced E Ink® display with clear, crisp text - even in bright sun
- Under 8 ounces, NOOK is lighter than a paperback
- Over 2 million books, magazines and newspapers to choose from
- NOOK connects via thousands of Wi-Fi® networks, including fast and free access at all Barnes & Noble stores
- Swap books right from your NOOK with exclusive LendMe™ technology
- Stay Organized with "My Shelves"
- Holds up to 1000 books
- Borrow books from local library
- Android OS 2.1 (Eclair)
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n
- Supported file formats: ePub, PDF and GIF file formats
- With 2GB of space and 32GB w/ microSD card expandable memory, your library has virtually no limits
- Read for up to two months with Wi-Fi® turned off and up to three weeks with Wi-Fi® turned on
- Dimensions (HxWxD): 6.5"H x 5"W x 0.47"D, 7.48 oz
- 1 year mfr. limited warranty
Lucky for me I have a super awesome friend who is also a book addict and has a similar taste in literature. She immediately loaned me a book so I could get started rekindling my own addiction. The first week I read through four books in four days. This past week I've already read through two and am halfway through a third. Every NOOK book she loans is only available for 14 days, so I make sure to get through them quickly. I have a short attention span, so if something takes me more than a couple of days I get bored or forget about it. The entire lending process is pretty painless. She puts in the email address associated with my NOOK, and loans it directly from hers. I think it takes only a couple of minutes from the time she turns her device on to when the book arrives in my library ready for downloading (which also only takes a matter of seconds).
The display of the device is also pretty self explanatory. It's easy to get from your library to home. You can shop for books on your NOOK when it is connected to your wifi, search, and access your settings all from a single button and a few taps on the screen with your finger. If you don't finish the book in time, or it's something you want as a permanent addition to your library, you always have the option to purchase it. The prices I've seen so far are very reasonable. E-Ink grey-scale touch screen is very easy to read from. It really is almost like reading right out of an actual book. My eyes aren't strained, the font is a decent size, and there is no residual ink coming through from the backside of a page like you would have if it was a paper book. The NOOK Simple Touch™ is also pretty durable. My kids have managed to get hold of it a few times, my cat has flung it off of my kitchen table onto the linoleum floor, and I've dropped it a couple of times in the throws of my klutziness. I also thought the material used for the back and sides was a great choice. It's not slippery and there's enough surface area for your hands to easily grip it without getting in the way of the screen. If it was a slippery material, I can only imagine how many other times I would have dropped it.
The ONLY thing I wished the NOOK Simple Touch™ had was a back-lit screen. I do a lot of my reading at night and I prefer to sit in a dark room, however until I purchase a book light, that isn't an option with this particular NOOK model. It's not a big deal, just a preference.
Overall I am THRILLED with the NOOK Simple Touch™. I thought the device itself was great and easy to use, but I also like how much easier having an e-reader has made... reading. I have thousands of books now at my fingertips, and I don't have to worry about finding a place to store them when I'm finished. Perhaps the only drawback is that now I get considerably less sleep since I seem to have my nose permanently "buried" in a new book every few days. But, that's a fantastic thing! Boy - did I miss reading.
* I was provided with the NOOK Simple Touch™ by Staples free of charge in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.
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