Monday, February 6, 2012

Busy Week! On Moving, the Nook Tablet, and Crude Matter

Just a minor update and apology, the blog's preloaded content has momentarily run dry and I have not had time or a regular internet connection to properly update, due to a sudden move into what feels like a veritable mansion compared to the rather quaint townhome situation my wife and I are used to. Marcus of course is taking it all in stride: one place is the same as another. He only got upset when the vast array of colors and shapes that he loved to look at (known to adults as my "bookshelf") disappeared, to be replaced by a plain ordinary brown set of blank shelves with no colors or shapes whatsoever. Then he let out a major wail.

I'll always have a million books (or at least that's what my aching back tells me I have after this weekend of moving) but I did take a bold step forward on my Birthday last week and bought a Nook Tablet. I figured hey, its kinda like a tablet, and its also like a reader, so maybe I can check out a bit of both. Then I promptly downloaded my vast Baen Library (both the free stuff and the other books I have bought there over time in the hopes I might one day find a convenient way to read them), then went on something of a fevered shopping frenzy for more book deals. It was not pretty, and I don't know whether to be thankful or irritated that my bank let me make so many minor transactions with Barnes & Noble without questioning why so much activity had hit my card. So yeah....

Anyway, it's only been four days and already I am perplexed by the crude plant matter that we once used to record data. Life before the Nook (or more precisely ereaders in general) seems like a strange dream.

The Nook and its like aren't good for some things. My giant Halo Encyclopedia or Age of Conan coffee table books do not translate well to the hand-sized Nook, for example. Even though in principle accessing a PDF of, say, Pathfinder can be more efficient, the Nook Tablet (or rather Pathfinder's PDF layout) still doesn't cater to the medium. Stuff like that. And while some publishers get that we know they have reduced overhead in electronic media, others appear to take a "threatened" stance against it and proceed to jack up electronic prices even more. Then there are publishers like the aforemention Baen books who absolutely get it.

I'm not asking for steep discounts...but if you're $8 paperback is retailing for $8 in electronic form, then I know you're charging me more for the virtual edition in terms of profit than the physical edition. There's nothing wrong with that, except of course how I will then not buy your e-copy and go instead for the competitor who marks their $8 books down to $6 (or sometimes even less).

It doesn't look like ebooks in general have reached the "Steam Holiday Clearance Sale" level yet, though. Maybe they have on Amazon, I don't know. I couldn't bring myself to buy a kindle, though. I like having more options, not less...Nook seemed to fit a happy middle ground somewhere.

Anyway, apologies for not having any recent content! Once the internet is hooked up in the new house there should be more to come. Maybe even a Mutant Epoch article or two if I can find some time to finish them up...


  1. The Baen Free Library is amazing. That one thing -- release old books that start a series -- has gotten me to buy so many ebooks from authors I never knew. Honestly, I don't buy much from the NOOK store. Mostly, it's sideloaded stuff from Baen or RPG books.

  2. Very true. I've purchased probably 30 books on the B&N site so far, but I have 200 more from Baen, both a mix of free and the reasonably priced books. It's a very smart approach that they are taking to electronic format, and I also like how Baen offers pretty much every format imaginable for their downloads.