I did it. I bought an E-Reader!
Here's the home screen!
So, the question I expect you're all asking yourselves - Why the Nook rather than the Kindle?
Here are my thoughts: it was a much bigger decision - that took months - to determine whether to get an e-Ink reader (Nook Simple Touch or Kindle Touch) or a reader tablet (Nook Tablet or Kindle Fire). I spend a lot of time at work in front of the computer screen and feel like it sometimes hurts my eyes. Spending additional time staring at an LCD didn't sound like a good choice. Once I started really thinking about that, I realized I wanted an e-Ink reader and from there the decision proceeded quickly.
I read a ton of reviews of both the Kindle Touch and the Nook Simple Touch on the internet, and if you're considering a purchase like this, I would highly recommend doing a google search or two so you can get a variety of opinions. There's a lot of good info out there and I won't try to replicate it here. I'll simply note the factors that tipped me towards the Nook:
1. EPUB format. The Nook uses this format for books to read. Most E-Readers not in the Kindle family use this format. It is owned by Adobe, rather than any book retailer, which I think gives device owners a little more freedom. This format is also sold by retailers besides Barnes and Noble, namely Google Play, which makes me feel a little less subject to a monopoly. With the use of "agency model" pricing, in which e-books are priced by the publisher with a set amount included for the retailer's profit, monopoly in book sales is a little bit less important.
2. Library Books. The other advantage of the Nook that is related to the EPUB format, at least in my estimation, is that my library has more books available in this format. Checking out library books on an e-reader is remarkably easy and is one of the reasons I was so anxious to buy one.
3. Expandable memory. I know, the Kindle Touch has a great big built-in memory. I don't really know how much material I will want to have on my device. I may never need to take advantage of the additional capacity. However, because I see this as an investment, this feature appealed to me.
4. Human Retailer v. Virtual retailer. It really has made my process easier to buy from a retailer "in real life." It was awesome to be able to go in and look at the device and hold it in my hands before making the decision. I made the decision about what cover to buy because I saw how it operated and realized how neat it was, but only by actually fiddling with it. I also appreciate that if problems arise, I can take the device back to the shop where I can interact with a real person to move forward. This might not be a huge deal, but it made me feel less nervous about deciding to buy.
5. Advertising. At the same price point, the Kindle product has "Special Offers," which are advertisements that display at the end of a reading session. Everything I have heard from Kindle owners, on the internet and in real life, is that this is not a big deal for their experience. I am glad to hear that, but when push came to shove, especially in light of the other factors, I realized I would rather not have ads.
This is what I see when I'm done reading: