Let’s Talk Nooks

I know, I know.  Isn’t this supposed to be an illustrator’s blog?  Well, it’s mine, so I’ll veer off the topic when I feel like it. Today I’d like to talk about my nook.

I had a 1st generation nook with 3G. I must say I was pretty impressed with Barnes & Noble’s customer support. My original never had working 3G and they replaced it, no questions asked. Well, it was in the warranty period, so I suppose they were just honoring that. So, no serious brownie points there. Still, I appreciated it.

For more than a year, I hummed along with no complaints about my nook at all. I love the eInk. I love being able to bring all my books with me wherever I want to. Especially on vacations. I love the “Don’t Panic” bumper sticker I put on the cover because I thought it was funny. (If you don’t get the reference, go read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. You will thank me.)

But a couple weeks ago I had another problem. Somehow between page turns something broke in the screen. (No, I did NOT drop it!)  There was a stripe of the screen that wouldn’t refresh. Effectively obscuring the first character or character-and-a-half on the lower half of the page. It was annoying to read that way.

So, I took it to B&N, knowing that at a year and a half of age, the thing was out of warranty. They confirmed that the screen was broken and I’d have to buy a whole new nook. However, they kindly offered me what they called an out-of-warranty exchange. This is a deep discount on the price of a replacement Simple Touch to replace my broken 1st gen. I could have a $30 reconditioned one or a $50 new one. Since I was resigned to paying $139 for a new Simple Touch Glowlight (or $99 without the glowlight) I figured that was a pretty good deal. Plus, I’m cheap. So, why pay $99 when I don’t have to?

I ordered the replacement and a new cover for it. I got both of those in the mail today.

A few things I didn’t realize about the nook Simple Touch.

  1. Simple Touch (and Simple Touch with Glowlight) do not have 3G. Bummer. But I don’t use it THAT often. So, deep breath, relax. I can deal.
  2. It does not have any games. I’m not talking about anything sophisticated, but my 1st gen had Sudoku and chess. I liked my little Sudoku game. *sigh* But it’s a eReader, not a gameboy, so I’ll suck it up.
  3. It has no web browser. I was in disbelief over this because I knew I’d talked to someone awhile ago after the touch screen first came out and she said it did have a browser. Am I remembering wrong? No, I am not. It used to have a browser. Not a good browser, but a browser none-the-less. But some internet research has informed me that it no longer exists. B&N took the web browser off of its Simple Touch.This is really annoying. The 1st gen had a rudimentary browser which was useful when traveling and away from the computer. We don’t have any smart phones or ipads in our house and I rarely take the laptop out with me. So, the 1st gen’s browser was kinda useful on occasion.

So, why am I not feeling all disappointed over my new nook which isn’t living up to my expectations?  (Okay, I am a little disappointed, but not too bad.)

‘Cause now I have a really good excuse to try rooting it.  If all goes well, I’ll end up with an eInk tablet.  If not, I end up with a $50 brick.  What do you think?  Should I void the warranty?  *evil grin*

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Just Read: The Alpine Path

I just read The Alpine Path by L. M. Montgomery.  It’s the story of her life focusing on her writing career.

She did not remember a time when she wasn’t writing.  She got her first stuff published when she was a girl, but it took forever before her first book, Anne of Green Gables, was accepted.  It was sent out, resent, sent again, and rejected a lot.  But finally it got accepted.  Even after her success, she still had to be persistent and send out things many times before they found a home. So, the lesson from this is that all writers need to be persistent.  Even the best ones.

It also seems that, in many ways, she WAS Anne Shirley.  No, she wasn’t an orphan.  But she grew up on Prince Edward Island and loved it just as much as Anne.  She even had the habit of naming ordinary things romantic names and seeing the magic in everyday places.  Most of her stories seem to have had their seed, at least, in real events that happened in her life or the lives of those she knew.  So, the lesson there is to pay attention to everything around you.  It can provide inspiration for your work.

It also has a long section that’s essentially a travel log from her honeymoon trip to Europe.  That’s kind of nice to read, but doesn’t really have much to do with her writing.

I’m always surprised how long ago she lived and wrote.  Her books do not seem to be set so very long ago, except when fashion or current events are mentioned.  The language she writes in and her character’s motivations are not so very archaic. Sure, there are some unfamiliar words and phrases, but not so much that it’s at all difficult to read or to identify with the characters.  I love her writing.

On a side point, I really appreciate the nook’s built-in dictionary.  The vocabulary used back then contains some words I’m not familiar with and the ability to immediately look them up as I read is wonderful.

Back on topic, The Alpine Path is something worthwhile for any aspiring author to read.