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

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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