After the untimely demise of my wife’s B&N nook eBook reader, I gave her mine and tried to decide if I was going to invest in another one. I almost did when the recent price drops for the nook and Kindle were announced. However, I’m quite glad I didn’t. I first decided to try the Kindle App on my Android phone. I was pretty sure I would not be happy reading a book on such a small screen, and really wanted an eInk display, not an LED. I have to say I was completely wrong on this (right up there with my prediction of the demise of Wikipedia within 6 months and declaring that Twitter would never gain mainstream acceptance). Luckily, I still have 20/20 vision, so I can read a relatively small text size comfortably on the screen. If I needed to use larger text, I would be flipping the pages at an annoying pace, but as it is, it isn’t too bad. The text size is of course adjustable, so most people should be able to find a comfortable setting. You can also change the color scheme to be black text on white background, a sepia toned display with brown on tan, or white text on black. Combine that with easily accessible brightness controls and the display is quite readable under most conditions.
When I first checked this out, B&N had not yet released their Android version of nook yet, though they had support for the iPhone and iPad. They eventually got around to it and released an app, but it initially lacked the display options the Kindle had. A recent update added several features and it is now on a par with the competition. Of course, the recent announcement that B&N has put itself up for sell puts the future of the nook in question and pushes me a bit towards Amazon as my eBook store of choice.
Either way, my cell phone will likely be my reader of choice for the foreseeable future. While I still like the larger eInk display on the nook and Kindle better, I don’t like it enough to deal with the hassle of hauling around another bulky piece of technology that I have to worry about damaging and remember to keep charged all the time. I have to carry my cell phone, and it’s easy to keep charged at work, at home, or in the car, so unless I’m out camping or something, I rarely run out of juice. It can also be read in the dark, and is much lighter to hold up while reading in bed.
I’m guessing that the eReaders marketed by these companies were not meant to be major sources of profits, but were intended to increase the market for eBooks. If that is the case the companies have not hurt themselves terribly by competing with their own products. Anybody with an Android Phone or iPhone should really check out these Apps, they are free and both bookstores have a large library of free eBooks to choose from.