Kindle Paperwhite vs Nook Glowlight

Kindle vs Nook has been the definitive eReader comparison for the last 4 years. In 2013, Kindle Paperwhite vs Nook Glowlight represent the Kindle vs Nook comparison in eReaders.

These are both good eReaders. Both have good eInk screens, a built-in reading light, and both are light and compact. You can’t really go wrong with either. This Kindle Paperwhite vs Nook Glowlight comparison will go into details and help you find which out of Kindle Paperwhite and Nook Glowlight is better for you.

Please Note: B&N’s official name for Nook Glowlight is ‘Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight’. We’ll stick with the shorter and sweeter name.

Kindle Paperwhite vs Nook Glowlight – Nook Glowlight Advantages

Nook Glowlight brings some strong advantages to the table –

  1. Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight supports ePub. This means that you can buy ebooks from B&N or from Kobo or from Sony or from any other store selling Adobe DRM ePub books.
  2. [To Be Confirmed] Since B&N books use Adobe DRM they will, at some point of time in the future, be readable on other eReaders that support ePub. The problem is that B&N uses a special variant of DRM that includes the last 4 digits of your credit card. Most non-Nook eReaders don’t support this yet. However, this is an official Adobe DRM variant and should be supported on all/most ePub eReaders in the future. Why is this important? If you decide to switch to another eReader, you can take your library with you. With Kindle Paperwhite, you can’t switch to another eReader as they don’t support Kindle format (it’s proprietary).
  3. Nook Glowlight has a microUSB card slot. This allows you to add microSD cards up to 32 GB and greatly expand the existing 2 GB capacity (only 1.25 GB of which is available). Kindle Paperwhite has 2 GB memory (again, only 1.25 GB is available for users to use). However, there’s no way to add more memory capacity to Kindle Paperwhite.
  4. You have B&N stores you can go into. There are some interesting offers periodically like ‘Buy 1 eBook, Get 1 Free’. There are additional benefits like being able to read any book for up to 1 hour per day, and getting free WiFi in B&N stores. You also get store staff that are very helpful. Note: B&N Phone and Email support are very bad.
  5. The Nook Glowlight is $119 and has no ads. Kindle Paperwhite is $119 for the version that has Ads instead of screen savers. Nook Glowlight ships with a charger. Kindle Paperwhite charger is $10 on top of the price. So, for the ad-free versions, and with charger included, the Nook Glowlight is $119 while Kindle Paperwhite would be $149.

Nook Glowlight also has some interesting additional advantages –

  1. With the Nook Glowlight you can turn the light off. With Kindle Paperwhite the reading light is always on – you can only reduce the brightness.
  2. Nook Glowlight is slightly lighter at 6.95 ounces. Kindle Paperwhite is 7.5 ounces.
  3. Nook Glowlight has better construction and build quality. Note: This is somewhat subjective. However, Nook eReaders and Nook Tablets in general are better built and better to look at and more comfortable to hold than Kindles and Kindle Fire Tablets.
  4. Nook Glowlight ships with an anti-glare screen protector already installed.
  5. Kindle Paperwhite and Nook Glowlight both have free WiFi access at AT&T hotspots. However, Nook Glowlight also has free WiFi access at B&N stores.

B&N released Nook Glowlight a few months before Amazon. The upside of that was that B&N could get a lot of sales from readers waiting for eReaders with lighted screens. In fact, they couldn’t meet demand for the Nook Glowlight. The downside was that Amazon got the chance to make Kindle Paperwhite stronger, especially in screen resolution.

Kindle Paperwhite vs Nook Glowlight – Kindle Paperwhite Advantages

Kindle Paperwhite is a really strong offering and has some big advantages of its own –

  1. Kindle Paperwhite has better screen resolution of 1024 by 768 pixels and higher pixel density of 212 pixels per inch. Nook Glowlight has 800 by 600 screen resolution. This is an important advantage for the Kindle Paperwhite as it allows for sharper, clearer text and a better reading experience.
  2. Kindle Store has more range in books and better prices.
  3. Kindle Store offers a lot more free books. Amazon has an exclusive deal with lots of indie authors (indie authors get to promote their books for free 5 days every 3 months). Therefore, there are lots and lots of free and cheap indie books in the Kindle Store.
  4. Amazon has better infrastructure. This allows for better implementation of features like WhisperSync which syncs your place in a book across devices.
  5. Kindle customer service is very good. While you don’t have the option of just walking into a store and getting help, the online and phone support are very solid.
  6. Amazon is probably going to be around longer than B&N and is probably going to be in eReaders for longer than B&N. Those are two relatively safe assumptions to make.

Perhaps the biggest advantage is that the higher screen resolution of the Kindle Paperwhite allows it to offer a better reading experience than the Nook Glowlight. If you visit the Kindle Paperwhite product page it’ll be clear that Amazon realizes this. It’s why Amazon focuses on the Kindle Paperwhite’s screen resolution advantage so much.

Kindle Paperwhite also has the following advantages –

  1. [Unconfirmed] Amazon claims 8 weeks of reading with the reading light at its lowest setting and WiFi off. Reading = Half hour a day. B&N claims 2 months with light off and 1 month with light on. This suggests that Kindle Paperwhite has slightly better battery life than the Nook Glowlight.
  2. Kindle Paperwhite is slightly thinner and narrower. Nook Glowlight is 6.5″ by 5″ by 0.47″ while Kindle Paperwhite is 6.7″ by 4.6″ by 0.36″.
  3. Kindle Paperwhite has features like X-Ray. X-Ray lets you quickly get more information on the characters in a book. Basically, Amazon keeps adding little features like this that help enhance your reading experience.
  4. Kindle Paperwhite has support for Doc and Docx formats.
  5. Kindle Paperwhite has a small app store (a few hundred apps and games). Nook Glowlight does not.
  6. Kindle Paperwhite has a wider range of accessories available.

Kindle Paperwhite made the most of the 3 to 4 month gap between the release of the Nook Glowlight and the Kindle Paperwhite. As a result, it’s stronger.

Kindle Paperwhite vs Nook Glowlight – The Lighted Screen Issues

Both devices have issues with the lighted screens –

  1. Nook Glowlight gets ‘bright holes/spots’ in the lighted screen. These are somewhat common.
  2. Kindle Paperwhite gets ‘leaks’ and ‘shadows’ coming out from the lower edge of the lighted screen. These are also somewhat common.

It’s hard to say which is worse. However, it does make a case to wait for Nook Glowlight 2 and Kindle Paperwhite 2 if you can. Perhaps you get the Kobo Aura HD instead, with the added bonus of getting a higher resolution HD screen.

Kindle Paperwhite vs Nook Glowlight – How long will Nook be around?

There have been strong rumors that B&N is getting out of the Tablet business. There have also been rumors that it will get out of eReaders once the transition of the market from eReaders to Tablets has completed.

I don’t believe the latter (eReaders dying out completely) is ever going to happen. However, if the rumors are true, it seems that B&N MIGHT leave the eReader space in 2014 or 2015. If that happens, thanks to Nooks using ePub, you should be able to switch to another ePub supported eReader. There are some complications since B&N uses a particular type of Adobe DRM and most other eReader companies don’t support it yet. However, some solution will be implemented quickly (if it isn’t already present) since most companies will want former Nook owners to buy their eReaders.

The second problem is that you would be going with a company (B&N) and a device (Nook Glowlight) that might stop getting software updates. Why pick a company that might leave the eReader device market entirely in a year or two? Perhaps its better to go with Kindle or Kobo.

Please Note: This is based on rumors. So, it’s not a given. However, my assessment is that B&N will indeed leave the eReader space in the next few years. You should factor this in when choosing between Kindle Paperwhite and Nook Glowlight.

Kindle Paperwhite vs Nook Glowlight – The White Kobo Elephant in the Room

Kobo, with the Kobo Aura HD, has thrown the Kindle Paperwhite vs Nook Glowlight discussion for a spin. Neither Kindle Paperwhite nor Nook Glowlight have two big things which Kobo Aura HD brings to the table –

  1. A High Definition eInk screen with 1440 by 1080 pixels screen resolution and a whopping 263 pixels per inch pixel density. This is much better than the screen resolutions on Kindle Paperwhite and Nook Glowlight.
  2. A Reading Light that is without glitches. If initial reviews are correct, then Kobo Aura HD suffers neither from the ‘leaks and shadows from the lower edge’ that some Kindle Paperwhite screens suffer from, nor from the ‘bright spots’ that some Nook Glowlight screens suffer from. Additionally, you have a dedicated switch to turn the screen lighting on or off (Nook lets you turn off the light, but has no dedicated switch).

Kobo Aura HD also uses ePub and it uses ePub without any special DRM variant. That means you can very easily take your Kobo bought books to another ePub reader if you decide to switch.

You should definitely consider the Kobo Aura HD before buying either Kindle Paperwhite or Nook Glowlight.

Kindle Paperwhite vs Nook Glowlight – Which is the better eReader FOR YOU?

Please Note: Please read the previous section. Kobo Aura HD might be the better choice for you today.

If you can. you really should wait 4-5 months to see what Nook Glowlight 2 and Kindle Paperwhite 2 are like.

If you can’t wait, there are some cases that are easy –

  1. If you’re an existing B&N customer, or have a library of ePub books from Sony or Kobo, then Nook Glowlight is the better choice.
  2. If screen resolution and overall reading experience are your main criteria then buy a Kindle Paperwhite as its better than Nook Glowlight in those areas. However, Kobo Aura HD is best for the moment.
  3. If you’re an Amazon customer, then Kindle Paperwhite is the natural choice. This is even truer if you are an Amazon Prime member.
  4. If you’re focused on cheaper prices and/or on free books, then Kindle Paperwhite is the better choice.
  5. If you often run into problems with devices and/or if customer support is very important for you, then consider whether you prefer store support or online support. If you prefer store support pick Nook Glowlight. If you prefer online or phone support, then pick Kindle Paperwhite.
  6. If you want to buy a device and keep it for 4-5 years, then it’s a hard choice. Nook devices are better made – however, B&N might get out of eReaders in the next 2-4 years. Have no recommendation here.
  7. If you want a microSD card, get a Nook Glowlight.
  8. If you want the lightest eReader, get a Nook Glowlight. If you want the thinnest or the narrowest eReader, get a Kindle Paperwhite.

In general, the Kindle Paperwhite is a better choice. The only exceptions are – if you want ePub support or want an SD Card slot or have an existing library of ePub books or don’t like Amazon.

Kindle Paperwhite came out 3-4 months after Nook Glowlight. Amazon used that time to deliver a better screen resolution which leads to a better overall reading experience. It also polished the Kindle Paperwhite quite well. That makes for a good, solid reading experience.

For now, Kindle Paperwhite wins the Kindle Paperwhite vs Nook Glowlight comparison. Kobo Aura HD might be better than both. However, the best choice of all would be to wait till October 2013 for Kindle Paperwhite 2 vs Nook Glowlight 2.

Review – Kindle Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

The United States has been divided. The rich preside over the poor from the Capitol, while the poor are left to their own devices in twelve districts. There were once thirteen, but the last was destroyed by the Capitol in a failed uprising of the indignant.

The children of the districts are pitted against each other in a fight to the death called The Hunger Games. Katniss Everdeen lives in the twelfth of these districts. When her little sister’s name is drawn to act as one of the tributes from District Twelve, Katniss volunteers herself and is cast into a world full of death and fear.

This is the premise of the Young Adult series, The Hunger Games. Some may compare this story to the Japanese novel, Battle Royale and I can’t help but agree with this comparison. The story seems as though it was lifted from the pages, but there are definitely some differences in story and style that set The Hunger Games apart.

This novel explores a dystopian future from the youth’s perspective as it rarely has been before. In the impoverished Seam neighborhood of District Twelve, Katniss has always had to fight to keep herself and her family alive. In that time she became an expert archer, lending her a great skill during the games.

The earlier third of the novel describes her skills, her family, and her home. Collins seamlessly develops such characters as the town drunk and Katniss’s trainer, Haymitch, her confidant and hunting partner, Gayle, and her sweet and gifted sister, Primrose. For some time I have been looking for a book that could so quickly envelop me in its story and characters as The Hunger Games managed.

In each novel, Collins first offers character and plot development for sometime, then hurtles into the games where no rules apply. Death and gore, blind fighting, and intense fear are reflected in haphazard style that takes over during the final third of the novels. Despite some criticisms that Collins has received for this change in style, I truly feel that a starved and terrified young woman would narrate her story in a similar fashion.

While the style generally maintains its quality throughout the series, the pattern that the novels follow becomes tedious by the third book. The so-called “arena” seems contrived and the traps that cause Katniss so much grief are written in such a confusing way that I could not imagine them in my mind’s eye.

It seems that Collins was growing tired of the story by the end of the third book, and I have to say I was, too. The tragedies and triumphs that ensue are fumbled over and some of the characters lose much of their spark.

Beyond these late flaws, The Hunger Games is of impressive quality and is in league with such Young Adult works as Harry Potter and can even hold its own when compared to George Orwell’s 1984. Like these works, there is a love story contained within the pages, but that is not the sole message of the series.

Too often, YA and other works are consumed by their love story, blocking out any other themes. The Hunger Games teeters on the edge of this, with Katniss and her fellow tribute, Peeta constantly kissing, with the will-they-won’t-they dynamic of her and her friend, Gayle, and with the Twilight-esque two men to choose between. Lucky for the reader, this series avoids going overboard with the love story and maintains its themes.

As mentioned earlier, this novel is oriented around a dystopian future from the youth’s perspective. Now more than ever, these themes are both relevant to our lives and important to understand. With the lack of privacy in our lives, the growing supply of nuclear weapons, and the unrest across the world, the world could face a future very similar to the one that exists within the pages of The Hunger Games.

Some may say that these themes are far too mature to be thought of by the readers of Young Adult literature, but it is the youth of today who would face this future. They must be informed of the possible consequences of a war torn world.

Overall, The Hunger Games is a series of impressive calibre. While the books each have their own flaws, the story, themes, characters, and writing all enchant and delight the reader. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone interested in Speculative or Young Adult literature.

New Kindle Review: Is it good enough?

A few weeks ago, I opened my mailbox to reveal a slender brown box. Elated, I rushed into my apartment and tore into the packaging. I oohed and ahhed as I pulled out a sleek charcoal device, complete with a 6″ eInk display; it was the new $109 keyboard-less Kindle ($79 if you get the version with Ads). Since then, I have been tirelessly reading, downloading, researching, and just plain playing with it.

The reading process has, thus far, been my absolute favourite aspect of this Kindle. The beautiful six-inch display appears more paper-like than any eInk screen that I have seen to date. Page turning is very smooth and the buttons are well-located, if a bit difficult to push sometimes. The other buttons are central and perfectly responsive, making highlighting easy.

Along with reading, my eBook buying experience has been quite delightful. The Kindle’s store is easy to search or browse. The category filtering, thumbnail displays, and reviews appear as eInk versions of what would appear when searching the Kindle Store on a computer. The one drawback of the shopping experience is that the lack of a keyboard or touchscreen makes typing somewhat difficult; however, the quick-loading search suggestions often negate the necessity of the keyboard altogether.

Unlike in the past, buying eBooks is not the only way to get them onto the Kindle. ePub library books are now available from 11,000 American public libraries. The major issue with this is that the eBooks cannot be downloading directly onto the Kindle, but they can be easily transferred from a computer. There are thousands of titles available for free for a temporary period, making reading even more accessible.

Amazon also offers an alternative library for Amazon Prime members. It is a fantastic paid service, allowing members to borrow books without due dates and get other exceptional deals from Amazon.

Another way to view files on the Kindle is by viewing .PDF files. While screen rotation, brightness, and zoom are all adjustable, most .PDFs simply do not look right on the Kindle. Pictures are grayscaled and made to look grainy on the eInk screen and words within comic books and brochures are nearly always too distorted or small to read.

Finally, the Kindle has games, applications, and an experimental browser. These features all give the Kindle a well-roundedness. The Kindle has always been viewed as purely an eReader, but since the release of the Kindle Fire and these features, the image of the Kindle is changing, but this Kindle is lacking the ability to listen to music. That could be a step in the wrong direction for Amazon.

The applications and games available for the Kindle are similar to what applications and games are available for other tablets and smartphones, but with less animation. Amazon has focused these apps around reading, writing, and expanding your mind. Moving back and forth between the apps and eBooks is seamless; however, the browser does have some issues and without a keyboard, it is practically unusable.

The new Kindle has been altogether a surprisingly useful device, with far more features and functionality than I had expected. While the device definitely has its flaws, I cannot say that I regret buying it. Anyone who is seeking a fantastic eReader with great usability and a clear, beautiful display will be delighted with the new Kindle.