Posts Tagged ‘Barnes & Noble’

The Nook

When it comes to reading I always viewed myself as a traditionalist. A book is a book is a book. But now there is a Nook. And on cyber Monday I broke down and bought one. It arrived two days later. My justification for purchasing this new gadget (besides the $25 gift certificate) was in the name of research.

I’m knee deep writing a biography of former Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach and having books at my beck and call are essential. I thought how much easier it would be if all this knowledge was in the palm of my hand. Not to mention I was curious about the changing nature of reading. It didn’t take long to gain a better understanding of this new reading landscape.

When my biography of Millicent Fenwick was published in 2003, there were no e-readers. The Kindle was introduced into the marketplace four years later and it only took another four years before e-books sales skyrocketed into the billions. The medium for reading is changing, and now I’m on board (but that doesn’t mean I will be purging books from my collection).

I bought a Nook over a Kindle for no other reason then to try and support one of the last staples of a physical bookstore. Here in Washington, DC, one of the most literate and well-read cities in the world, the Barnes & Noble in Georgetown is going out of business on December 31. So much attention is focused on preserving independent bookstores like Politics & Prose and Kramer Books that I never imagined we would be fighting for big box bookstores to survive.  Borders already lost that battle and closed its doors earlier in the year. I hope Barnes & Noble doesn’t succumb to the same fate.

As to my Nook, I admit, I like it more than I thought. I’m not sure if it’s the Nook or my first e-book, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand, a great read!

For all those last minute shoppers, I hope you buy books or nooks so that book stores do not become part of a dying breed.

Happy shopping and happy holidays!