Kindle vs. Sony vs. Nook: Which is What? (Part 1)

Back in late-2009 through mid-2010, I quietly watched the "War of the eReaders" among the top three vendors: Amazon, Sony and Barnes & Noble. For months, I had visited the sites of each vendor many, many times. I even visited one particular vendor's web site more than all of the others. But each time, I'd click on the "Buy Now" then view "My Cart" only to sit their staring but never completing my purchase.


In the back of mind, I wondered: "Do I really want to this particular eReader brand?" Then, just when I thought my mind was made up, the eReader war grew larger. The top three vendors were either releasing new models or dropping their prices. Then I wondered, "What is the world is going on?"

By August 2010, when the dust had settled, I was finally able to make a decision. So in October 2010, I became a Kindleholic!

Before we get into the brands, if you do not own an eReader but would like to one day soon, I want you to think about your answers to these questions:

Do you...
  1. ...want an eReader that has built-in Internet for buying and downloading books anywhere, anytime, any place?
  2. ...want an eReader that allows you to highlight and save passages?
  3. ...want an eReader that allows you to download and read eBooks from your local library?
  4. ...consider yourself a casual or an avid reader?
  5. ...prefer reading, listening, or both?

Your answers to the above questions will determine which eReader is best for you whether your are a potential buyer or an existing owner thinking about trading in, then listen and learn! Today I'll briefly introduce the first of three brands. And although there are scores of eReaders out there, the three most talked about are the Amazon Kindle, Sony eReader and Barnes & Noble Nook. So, now it's time to find out, which is what?

Amazon Kindle

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 The most popular among all eReader is the Amazon Kindle. Currently the Kindle is in its 3rd generation of eReaders with the most recent models being the larger Kindle DX and the smaller Kindle 3 (as shown  to the right).

The features I like most:
  • The month-long battery life if you keep the wireless off like I do. Oh! When it comes to Internet access, the smaller Kindle 3 comes either with Wi-Fi or with 3G and Wi-Fi and the Kindle DX only comes in 3G. 
  • All current model carry up to 3,500 books. <- That's right!
  • You can bookmark "pages" and highlight passages of text and keep them stored on your device and upload them to the Amazon servers for safekeeping. Or have one or two posted directly to Twitter or Facebook accounts.
  • Books can be purchased online at or right on your Kindle then you can download them in less than a minute (depending on your Internet signal).
  • Books can easily be categorized into folder/directories for easier access.
  • Some books have text-to-speech capabilities, so you can listen to them while driving (no headphones needed).
  • You can even get eAudiobooks through, an Amazon service. Download and listen to them right on your Kindle.
  • You can also add your favorite MP3s and listen to them as you read.
  • When reading a book, you can change the font size and the screen layout to what is most comfortable for you.

Whether or not, you want to buy a Kindle is found in whether or not you want to pay for your own books or if your local library has an eBook program such as Overdrive or Netlibrary that you want to take advantage of. Here at Bossier Parish Libraries, we have Overdrive which provides eBooks in ePub format. The problem with that - Kindle does not support ePub. With the Kindle, you must purchased your books directly from, which are in AZW format. For some readers, this is a disadvantage, but for me - it isn't.

Most of the books that I like to read are usually not found on the library shelf anyway, so I have always purchased the books that I wanted to read (and keep). So if you're a big fictional reader, who might prefer downloading your books for free from your library and then get rid of them once your check-out period expires, then the Kindle is not for you. In Part 2, we will discuss two brands that would accommodate you - Sony eReader and the Barnes and Noble Nook. 

Click here to learn more about the Amazon Kindle or visit your nearest Best Buy® or Staples store locations.

Here are a Few Links of Interest:
  • BPL's List of Common eReader Terminology (view now).
  • Article: 10 Features in the Kindle 3 You Didn't Know About (view now).
  • Article: Lots of Little Improvements Makes the Kindle 3 the Best E-Ink E-Reader (view now)