28 December 2010
KINDLE vs NOOK
So I am lucky that my husband has a calmer head and works through the pro/con list very time I see a bright shiny toy and cry "now!" He decided on a Kindle for Christmas and I love it. I bounced over to my sister's house to show it off, but was met by TWO nieces (8 and 14 years) with their brand new Nooks, even more sparkly than my Kindle. So I spent the evening working through the Nook details with the 8-year-old while inwardly comparing her toy to mine. I am still pleased with husband's choice for me, but am also dazzled by the power that the Nook already exhibits over the girls' reading patterns.
1. Readability: I have weak eyes, so as a reader, there is no comparison; the Kindle wins. The e-paper is much easier on the eyes, so I can read longer. The Nook sights like my MacBook, and I felt the eyestrain just as quickly. I will miss the physical experience of a book with the Kindle. I have always loved the feel of the page in my hand, and still identify the smell of a book as a great selling point. I still remember the first time my grandmother let me touch her small red leatherbound Gold Bug by Poe that had goldleafed page edges. I have that book now, and it is one of my prized possessions. So neither reader can come close to that sense experience.
2. Color & Touchscreen: The Nook color is great, high resolution, and the touchscreen is almost as good as an iPad or iPhone. It is hard to look away, great for the second grader. If you are getting a reader only to read, then the color is not that important. But both nieces were mesmerized. They needed very little help to navigate the first time. They read for a while, but then started setting up their "desktops." That personalization is a big plus for kids. The Kindle can't do much of that in comparison.
3. New Reading Skill Development: Watching my niece read the Magic Tree House Christmas in Camelot (good choice for her first book, sis) with all the illustrations intact, and the potential for live links to other King Arthur resources, made me see the advantages for new readers. I look forward to teaching Macbeth to kids with the choice of clicking on videos of the Olivier or MacLellan performances of the scene we're reading right in the middle of class. And for the first time, my second grade niece sat for an hour with no prompting to read. The 14-year-old mastered the highlighting and dictionary functions right away, so we know that the Nook will be a great school aid as well as fun toy.
Overall, I am pleased as an obsessive reader to have the Kindle. As a teacher , the Nook offers an intoxicating look at the future of teaching reading strategies. The metacognitive strategy poster in my classroom is already changing as I write this. And I still want an iPad. Now.