Barnes and Noble readies Nook book reader

Barnes and Noble is about to release an ebook reader called Nook. The bookseller and publisher wants to compete with the Amazon Kindle and the Sony Reader. It is easy to find people who say they love their Kindle, but I remain skeptical. I do think that within a few years, we will reading many more books using some kind of reader device, but I think the long-rumored Apple tablet is likely to crush these dedicated devices.

One of the arguments for dedicated book readers is that it is no different than lugging around a paperback--which I do all the time when I travel. But a paperback can be handled roughly--I don't have to worry about cracking the screen of a paperback, it never runs out of battery life, and it requires no charger. Once you have an ebook reader, you have to think constantly about charging it, loading the books on it, handling carefully, and even losing it--lose a paperback, and you are out $10. Lose or misplace your ereader, and you are out hundreds of dollars, and the hassle of replacing all the books stored on it.

A tablet device the size of the Nook or the Kindle that also does email, Web browsing, and handles light office tasks is going to be much more popular than adding another electronic device to your life.

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