Book Samples on My Nook: Will I Buy Any of Them?

A nice picture of someone reading an  Original Nook.

This is not I, but it is a nice picture of someone reading a book on an Original Nook.

Since I acquired a Nook Tablet last year, I have downloaded approximately 250 books and samples.

So many, many, many samples.

It’s so easy to download.  John Wyndham’s The Kraken?  I loved The Day of the Triffids.  And why not try Hugh Walpole’s The Duchess of Wrexe?  I enjoyed Walpole’s The Green Mirror.

The Nook and I have a complicated relationship.

I adored my Nook tablet when I wrote fondly here on Dec. 11, 2012:

Like many of us in the electronic age, I spend as much time with “e”-things as I do with human beings. My e-reader is my friend.  It is basically a small computer that supplies me with infinite choices of books; allows me to open my email and surf the web; plays music; and provides me with crossword puzzles. It is tactile.  I have my hands all over the screen every day.  I tap, click and drag, swipe, and read.

And on Nov. 16, 2013, I wrote: “I feel about my e-reader the way the women in Sex and the City feel about their vibrators.”

I didn’t know what a tablet was when I bought it, and I still refer to it as an e-reader. We loved our original Nook, but it stopped turning the pages after a couple of years.  (It has recovered.  It was just going through a bad spell.)  At our house we used to compete for e-time on it, since I was absorbed in reading free books with titles like A Spinster of the Parish (what is it about books with spinster in the title?), while my husband wanted to peruse H. G. Wells’ The Wheels of Chance, a novel with a lot of bicycling.   (Both are free on the internet.)

We wanted another original Nook, but they stopped making it.

And so “Let’s buy the  Nook Simple Touch for $99!” (or whatever it cost.  It is now $59.)

“Piece of crap,” my husband said.

We bought a Nook tablet.

It works too well.

And so twenty-one percent of the books I read last year were e-books, perhaps double the number of e-books  read in 2011.  That’s a very fast change, don’t you think?

According to Pew Internet,  in late 2012 25% of Americans 16 and over owned tablet computers (iPads, Nook tablets, Kindle fires), while 19%  owned Kindles, Nooks, and other e-readers.

It is amazing how quickly I begin to fit in with cultural trends.

And then about the time I got hooked on my Nook, some bloggers began writing about the advantages of having both an e-book and a book.

Now what the f–, I thought.  I can’t possibly afford both books and e-books.

I prefer books.

I love my Nook, too, but when I look at all these samples I wonder what I’m thinking of.

Among the more fascinating samples of books are:

Scott Lynch’s The Republic of Thieves (SF/fantasy):  From Publishers’ Weekly:  “Lynch’s long-awaited third Gentleman Bastards high-fantasy caper novel (after 2007’s The Lies of Locke Lamora and 2008’s Red Seas Under Red Skies) abundantly delivers on the promise of the earlier volumes. Quick-witted protagonist Locke is slowly succumbing to poison as his loyal companion, Jean, tries to find someone who can save him. ”  The problem?  I don’t feel like reading the first two volumes.

In Times of Fading Light by Eugen Ruge.  A German novel, highly praised everywhere. I downloaded this e-book sample when I read the review at TLS, but so far have resisted buying it.   At Amazon:  “An enthrallingly expansive family saga set against the backdrop of the collapse of East German communism, from a major new international voice.”

Where’d You Go, Bernadette?  By Maria Semple.  Everybody loves it, it has been nominated for awards, but it looks a bit stupid.  Has anyone read it?  Perhaps I need to read more of the sample.

Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life.  Nominated for awards, everybody loves it, and you know more about it than I do.

The Birds by Frank Baker.  Michael Dirda in The Washington Post said:  “This isn’t Daphne du Maurier’s 1952 story “The Birds,” the partial basis of the celebrated Alfred Hitchcock film of 1963. But Frank Baker’s premise is much the same, and his eerie yet satirical and rather metaphysical novel first appeared in 1936.”

Patricia Brent, Spinster by George Herbert Jenkins.  A light romance, published in 1918: Jenkins also published P. G. Wodehouse’s books.  The blogger Redeeming Qualities praised this, and it is free at Project Gutenberg.

Quite a variety, and I don’t know what I’ll read next.  I’m sure I’ll buy one of these eventually…

4 thoughts on “Book Samples on My Nook: Will I Buy Any of Them?

  1. I have downloaded *tons* of free ebooks onto my PC and read precisely none of them. For the moment, I’m still a fan of tree books and I can’t see that changing because I just *love* the tactile nature of a real book!


  2. I know what you mean, Karen! I am reading e-books now, because they are cheaper for new books. This is a very nice machine, but there’s something about it. When I had a Sony Reader I rarely downloaded books. I really should get rid of a lot of these samples.


  3. I love my kindle and consider it both elegant and wonderfully tactile. Do writers envision themselves as object-makers? Does the vehicle which carries the thought matter? Not being a writer of books I have no clue, however even as an artist, decidedly an object-maker, I consider objects I make to be fundamentally embodied ideas.
    I’m struck by the generosity, desperation perhaps, of writers. I’ve a particular interest in semi-obscure women novelists, who devoted so much time and energy to putting ideas into words and narratives then collecting these into books which turned out to be terribly susceptible to fashion and bias, not to mention the elements. These writers and their thought-objects are well served by e-books.


  4. Ginny, these are lovely machines, and I do agree with you about e-books of out-of-print female writers becoming available through Kindle/Nook/etc. I read a free copy of Mrs. Humphry Ward’s Marcella on my Nook recently because the print was too small in my paperback, and I thoroughly enjoyed my e-book. There are some wonderful books at Project Gutenberg that I have discovered by browsing or from blogs.

    Your thoughts about objects are fascinating. I am not an artist, but you are right: the ideas are important. Books are beautiful, but the experience of reading is important both in physical books and on machines.


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