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The Future Is Here

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
- Arthur C Clarke
Sometimes it’s even better than magic. Even Harry Potter had to lug books around in a bag at Hogwarts. But not me. I got myself the Nook. In a gadget the size and weight of a single paperback novel, I can now carry at least 200 books! Many a time what we wish for and what science gives us, turn out to be poles apart. 10 years ago I never wished for a pocket sized phone which lets me access the internet whenever/wherever, yet that’s precisely what I got. Similarly, Asimov’s robots & the robots we now have are poles apart. It’s very rare that you get exactly what you wished for.

But the latest crop of ereaders including my Nook is the stuff every bookworm imagehas dreamed of. When I was a kid, I used to have to go to the library practically every day to have enough reading material on hand. I dreamed of the day when science would invent something which could hold more books than I can read! Fast forward 15 years and tech has answered my prayers. 

Anyone who’s been following the ereader market knows the advantages of having one by now. Excellent battery life, E Ink, form factor etc. And many have wondered if we really need yet another device to lug around. Mostly they are right. For the average Joe who reads to while away time on a train/flight/waiting room or who reads maybe 1 or 2 books a month, it’s definitely not worth it.

But for people like me, who’ll read anything & everything, the Nook is a godsend. The tech blogs reviewing these gadgets can only compare the actual gadget to every other tablet or phone and pronounce their verdict. Most of them don’t cover the actual experience of using one. Even I wasn’t sure if I made the right choice. Would it have been better to get the Nook color? It is, after all, a very good tablet for its price. But just a few weeks of using this device & I knew I was right.

Reading on the Nook is exactly the same as reading an actual book. With an LCD screen – whether on a phone or a laptop – you’re constantly aware of the screen, what other things are going on in your browser/other apps and so on. With my Nook, it’s just me and the words. I can read books from start to finish, without interruptions, that constant nag of window pop ups and the hundredth ‘xyz just poked you’ FB update. On my laptop every time I had to turn a page, it was an intrusive break in the story. Imagine a commercial interrupting you every 30 seconds in a video or movie!

For people who started to read before the internet became ubiquitous, the feeling should be familiar – when you get so absorbed in a good story that you don’t notice the paper or ink or the rest of the world. The words fly off the paper and it feels as if the action is taking place right in front of your eyes! I used to get that experience only from a book. And now my Nook. I do not want my ereader to take notes or annotations or read my mail. I don’t want an eBook which has embedded videos or animated graphics. My phone can do all that.

With my Nook, I always have a book with me to read. And that’s all I ever wanted from an ebook reader.

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