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The Kindle vs. Nook: Here's One Advantage They Don't Tell You About

By michellehorton |

One of the biggest, most wanted gifts this year is an e-reader like the Kindle, Nook or — perhaps the ultimate e-reader of all — the iPad. For those who can’t afford the latter, it’s really a toss up between the Amazon Kindle and the Nook. Which one is better?

The Amazon Kindle ($139 – $189) is largely responsible for this booming trend since its debut in 2007, and it’s still a forerunner in the electronic reading race: The Kindle was the most purchased item on Amazon in 2009 and is expected to sell over 8 million e-readers in 2010!

Yet the new Barnes & Noble Nook Color ($249) is more of a hybrid between an e-reader and a multi-functioning tablet like the iPad, and more apps are expected to be available in 2011. Right now the device comes with eight apps, including Pandora radio, a music player, image and video gallery, contacts and three games. If you want to get down to the nitty gritty, there are many more differences between the varieties of Kindle and Nook e-readers, including color, screen types and availability of e-books, which you can read about here. (And did you hear Google is blowing open the e-book market with Google Ebooks?)

But there’s one thing that you won’t find on the techy blogs and business pages:

Book covers! I was browsing through Barnes & Noble last night to pick up a few last-minute books for my son, and I saw thee most stylish Nook covers that nudged me in their direction. Check out these Nook covers from Kate Spade, Jonathan Adler, Lily Pulitzer and more:

1. Canvas Bella Library Cover by Kate Spade New York, $59.50

2. Alice Cover in paper by Barnes & Noble, $17.46

3. Canvas Store Front Cover by Kate Spade New York, $59.50

4. Jonathan Adler Punctuation Cover by Barnes & Noble, $20.96

5. Lily Pulitzer Secret Garden Cover by Barnes & Noble, $34.96

6. Lily Pulitzer Gold Snake Cover by Barnes & Noble, $41.96

7. Dipped Canvas Book Cover Lime by JACK SPADE, $59.50

8. Nouveau Type Cover by Barnes & Noble, $27.96

That’s one thing you won’t get with the Kindle! See the wide variety of Nook covers at Barnesandnoble.com. Find (less superficial) info. about the Nook ($149 – $249) here and the Kindle ($139 – $189) here.

**UPDATE: A commenter @John pointed out that there are better Kindle covers than those sold in the Kindle store, and he’s very right! These Kate Spade covers rival (if not surpass) the Kate Spade Nook covers:

But they’ll cost more at $85 – $125 a pop! See all of the Kate Spade Kindle covers here.

Also check out:

Lead photo: TIME.com (contains more comparisons, but not including the new upgraded Nook)

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About michellehorton

michellehorton

michellehorton

Michelle Horton is the founder of Early Mama, an award-winning site that proves young motherhood doesn’t have to define or limit us. When not writing, she’s typically pretending to be a superhero in her 4-year-old son’s imaginative play. Read bio and latest posts → Read Michelle's latest posts →

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14 thoughts on “The Kindle vs. Nook: Here's One Advantage They Don't Tell You About

  1. Ned Nedson says:

    The self conscious reader who doesn’t want to look like they are using an eReader can appreciate covers that look like a book.

  2. John says:

    I have to respectfully disagree with the notion that only Nook has interesting covers. I understand that Kindle cases are not as readily accessible in stores as the Nook covers, but they are easily found online.

    There are a ton of fun and stylish cases available for the Kindle, including many of the designer’s you mentioned or unique hand hand-made options. The Kindle store only lists some of them. Many more exist outside of the official store on Amazon and elsewhere.

  3. Stephanie says:

    I don’t know. We got a kindle for my dad this year and I am buying him a cover for Christmas. Granted I will most likely just get him a boring black leather bound cover but as a female, I spent time looking at the Amazon selection for more fun options (since I may decide to get one for myself as well) and they are not half as fun as these Nook covers!

  4. Chey says:

    I have a Nook, a Kindle, AND an iPad and have found that the iPad is the BEST ebook reader available!
    1) You can get FREE apps to read Nook and Kindle books
    2) You can get FREE apps to read ALL the other ebook formats
    3) Everything is in color
    4) Everything is totally customizable.

    WHY the tech blogs and journalists haven’t caught up with these facts is beyond me. I don’t go anywhere without my iPad.

  5. susan says:

    The pretty covers are great, but I love the integrated book light that comes with my Kindle cover.

  6. michellehorton says:

    @John: I STAND CORRECTED! You’re right there are very fun Kindle covers, just not in the Kindle store. I adore these from Kate Spade, and they’re even better than the Nook: http://www.amazon.com/kate-spade-new-york-Generation/dp/B003UYV1JW

    I think the Kindle just inched ahead…

    @Chey: I agree that the iPad is the ultimate of the ultimate e-readers, but they are unfortunately a bit unaffordable for a lot of people. (And by a lot of people, I mean me!)

    @Susan: Thank you for your comment! It’s really hard to stack the pros and cons of each e-reader. I think they’re both fantastic. It seems that if you want a really good e-reader, might as well go with the Kindle. If you want something with more apps than just reading (and can’t afford an iPad), go with the Nook color.

    As John pointed out, there are some great covers out there for both!

  7. Elizabeth says:

    I disagree with the iPad being touted as the best e-reader. It is a really awesome device for many things but for reading you can’t beat the Kindle or Nook’s e-ink display. Reading from an iPad for hours on end will give you eye strain just like a computer screen. The Kindle and Nook look just like a book! I sounded like Dr Seuss for a minute there. LOL

  8. Sandra Varian says:

    I was speaking with a Nook Seller who said that the Kindle does not offer updates and also if you need updating a new purchase is required. Again a “Nook Seller” I also have nothing but misery trying to connect to B&N site for downloading books, I have established an account with B&N and have done all that I was told is required. At this point I would give the Nook back (no Receipt – gift) in a minute and go with the Kindle. I received it on Christmas day and still fighting with it. I went to B&N with NOOOO satisfaction. Could not even get through to the help line after an hour, yes an hour…Sorry for rambling just frustrated big time. I guess my option is having to go to B&N, download books, and come home…yes just what I wanted to do… I am usually an Optomist!!!

  9. michellehorton says:

    @Sandra: I actually got a Nook COLOR for Christmas after writing this, and I’ve been so extremely happy with it. Do you have the Color one? There are a ton of apps, and it’s extremely easy to use. And maybe it’s because I live in a less populated area than you, but I’ve never seen long lines at the Nook counter. Can’t you just download books straight from your device?

  10. DeeJay says:

    @Sandra: Have you tried B&N again recently? It seems that it was overwhelmed on 12/26–I never could get a download, or even get connected–but I had no trouble downloading on 12/27. Maybe all the nook recipients went online to buy books the day after Christmas? :-) At any rate, I’m having no issues now.

  11. Leslie says:

    You can download books for the Nook from many public libraries but not for the Kindle.

  12. Marj says:

    I love my Nook. I am trying not to buy magazine in RL because they litter up my house and I am strangely reluctant to get rid of them. So the Nook Color can help me with that. Plus, when one of my boys is fussy, we can do interactive story time on mama’s lap. We read them regular kids books but this is like a special on the lap kinda treat. Also, I can get free books from Project Gutenberg any time I like (classics and stuff). I also like listening to Pandora radio on it.

  13. Jim Rose says:

    I do have to say that the reading experience on an kindle and that of the nook color are quite different. The nook app for other source does not have the features of the nook color for one thing and the other thing is that the way kindle renders text is not quite clean. You can see the pixelation which becomes very distracting. Although the basis of the technology is the same I think the nook color has the edge on ereading over kindle. The ability to change the background color for text is awesome and I find it very comfortable to read for long periods when I have the background set to grey.

    http://www.coversnook.com

  14. minpin says:

    I enjoy my kindle and i wouldn’t have it any other way. I do hope to get a nook though, so i can really compare the two. but i do simply adore my kindle. a rep. at b&b said lots of bad things about the kindle. I felt put down because i could not say enough about my kindle. i know that the are there to sell the nook but they should be honest. it is really your preference.

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