Despite the warning of a friend of mine, I went ahead and bought myself an eReader. To be more specific, I bought myself the Nook, which is the one made by Barnes and Noble. I've been contemplating getting one for some time for a few reasons. The first is that while I probably read a lot more than the average person, I don't feel as though I read nearly enough. (And while I do consider reading comics as actual reading, I feel as though I should spread out a little and read some more prose.) The second is that while I want to read more, I don't want to crowd up my house with more stuff. It's bad enough that I keep bringing in more comics every week. After all, one of the things that I liked about DVDs is that they took up less space than video tapes. One of the advantages of Blu-Ray discs is that their cases are even smaller. And then you have Netflix's streaming queue, which shortened my DVD want-list by a huge list. (Why buy all seasons of Arrested Development when I can watch them any time with my streaming disc and Playstation 3?)
So, why go with the Nook? Well, I quickly ruled out Amazon.com's Kindle, as it seems to be a lot more limited as to what kinds of files you can read. With the Nook, it not only reads files that you can get from Barnes and Noble, but it can also read ePub files. What the hell does that mean? Well, if you search for public domain books online, you can find a whole bunch of free books in the ePub format. What's in the public domain? A hell of a lot, including some books that I've been meaning to get for some time now, including The Art of War, The Ramayana, The Prose Edda, Twelfth Night, The Nibelungenlied, and a whole bunch of other stuff from long-since dead authors. Check it out.
It was then between the Nook and Sony's eReader, but I went with the Nook because it had more memory. Also, while it cost a bit over 50 dollars more, it came with a $50 gift card to buy some books. There were also some other features that appealed to me a bit more, but I can't seem to recall them right now. (Oh, and why not get the iPad? That's really expensive. Maybe in the future it'll be less of an investment.)
Overall, I have to say that I'm impressed. I like the screen, and I love the fact that it's so easy on the eyes to look at. You don't feel the same as you do when you've been staring at a computer screen for hours. It basically looks just like print on a page. Currently, I'm reading Ayaan Hirsi Ali's latest book, Nomad. I can definitely say that I'm reading more than if I got it as one of them old-timey books. For one thing, I can read my Nook while I'm eating. You don't have to worry about weighing down the pages to keep the book open. Also, it's so conveniently portable. I was reading it while my freshmen were taking their final. I've found myself reading it whenever I have any downtime.
Another plus is that my wife is using it as well. I usually like to read comics before I go to bed, and she's currently reading a book that I downloaded on to it for her. From what I can tell, she's reading more now than she normally would as well. Let's hope the novelty doesn't wear off.
I should also point out that I got Moby Dick from one of those public domain sites. I just might be more likely to finish it now that I don't have to haul around that huge, leather-bound copy with me. I'll have to figure out where I left off...