Kindle vs. Nook: what’s the difference?
By Phil Hornshaw
In the world of e-readers, there are currently a pair of powerhouses: Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Apple and the tablet market are contenders when it comes to reading digital books, but tablets offer the ability to read books as a sort of add-on feature. Amazon’s line of Kindle readers and Barnes & Noble’s Nook line are built specifically for the function of reading books. Because of that, they’re both a little better for it – they use E-Ink displays to reduce glare and eyestrain, they’re more comfortable to hold and stare at for long periods, and they work better outdoors than tablets do.
But when it comes down to which e-reader is better, Amazon’s or B&N’s, the contest is effectively a draw. Both devices are solid in their own ways, and it’s hard to go wrong with either one.
When considering which e-reader to snag and how to get the best deal on it, there are a few other factors to consider. Since they’re basically equal, the decision can come down to the prices you can get on the content for each one. Of course, while Amazon and B&N each have a huge network of e-books to buy and read, there are other ways of getting this content at a discount. It comes down to which company you like buying from more: Amazon’s $99 Kindle includes ads, for example, while B&N’s $99 Nook does not.
Regardless of which device you choose, you’re going to want to look around not only for coupons for the devices themselves, but also for content.
Finding a good e-reader price
At this point, most tech stores and lots of big box stores, such as Best Buy and Target, will have a decent collection of e-readers and have representatives from both the Amazon and B&N camps. Already the prices for these devices are pretty competitive. Amazon offers Kindles as low as $69, while Nooks start at the $99 level.
It’s worth looking around when you intend to buy at various stores, especially as the holidays draw closer. Radio Shack and Walmart carry the devices as well as accessories, and you might be able to snag a deal as the gift-giving season ramps up. Radio Shack offers free shipping and you’ll get cash back if you spend more than $50, giving it a slight edge.
If you’d rather buy direct and get your device shipped to you, there are often coupons that can net you free shipping from either Amazon or Barnes & Noble. In the case of B&N, you can get free shipping on both new and used Nook devices. Amazon charges shipping, but you can get around it occasionally with a special offer or an Amazon Prime account.
All about the content
Just as important as the device itself is having stuff to read on it. Both Amazon and B&N offer a wealth of books in digital formats, and it’s easy to quickly purchase them from their online stores. Amazon also has a huge number of self-published books from various authors, usually at some pretty low prices.
E-books are available in a lot more formats and from a lot more sellers than just the big two, however. If your favorite local booksellers have an online version of their stores, it’s likely you can snag e-books from them that will work on your favorite e-readers – that way you can go digital while still buying locally.
There are other deals from online portals that peddle e-books exclusively, often at a decent discount. EBooks.com is a good place to start, as you’ll be able to snag some cash back and find deals on various kinds of books, such as textbooks. Other sellers have deals of their own: Google’s e-book shop, for example, includes a section of free offerings, and Diesel offers free books, as well as items under $5 and $10.
No matter which reader you pick, keeping an eye out for where you can snag deals on e-books can save you a lot in the long run. Add those savings to the convenience of using your new e-reader, and you’re probably going to feel pretty smart while you become even better read.