The blog of the adventures (or mis-adventures) of an active mountain woman.

Urban Adventure

The L train in downtown Chicago

With nuclear winds in Casper, a few urban trips and a general sickliness about me, the outdoor adventures have been a bit short. However, it has recently been brought to my attention that adrenaline-pumping adventure can also be had in a large city such as Chicago.

On my last weekend in Chicago (last weekend), I thought, ‘This is the most comfortable I have ever felt in a city. What a nice, clean urban environment.’ While my extreme comfort may have been due to the short duration of my visit, my feeling were a welcome change from my usual ‘caged caffeinated rabbit’ syndrome where a search for open space is met with a frantic dash from gate to fence to ‘Private Property- NO TRESPASSING’ sign.

These feeling remained until I got a call from ‘B’ last night.

B, being a conscientious consumer who often utilizes public transportation, was riding the famous L train around 11pm in the evening. Happily reading her Nook e-reader, she noticed a 14-year-old male occasionally staring at her. Aware but not concerned, she continued reading until the Punk jumped up from his seat and grabbed the Nook from her hands and dashed out the open doors. Unthinkingly (obviously), B also darted out the train doors and chased said Punk down while screaming, “You little (expletive)! I’m going to catch you! I’m calling the cops while I run!”. In heavy boots and a few years past 14, B was no where near catching the Punk. But the fact that B had given chase combined with her stunning intellect caused Punk dropped the Nook and B is happily reading it again today. But not on the L.

Disclaimer: B would like to make it clear that chasing petty thieves is generally not a good idea.

80’s throw-back link-of-the-day: 8-Bit Boulder (other cities available, too)

Gettin’ Geeky: Kindle vs. Nook

Amazon's Kindle

My adventures often take me traveling- sometimes it’s for a short period of time, but the trips lasting multiple weeks (or months) present a problem other than a shrinking bank account: how many books will I read?

Enter the eReader. It’s affordable. It’s small. It holds A LOT of books! But as we live in a capitalist society, we have the inevitable choices that result from market competition (thank goodness). The clear market leaders appear to be the Kindle from Amazon and the Nook from Barnes & Noble. By bouncing between their websites and reading some tech reviews, I have complied the below comparison that I believe to be accurate as of October, 2010 for the lowest priced models.

Basic Kindle: $139
Basic Nook: $149 (both basic models have built-in wireless for downloading new books).

Barnes & Noble's Nook

Both are 6″ diagonally with adjustable text size. I have read a few reviews that say the Kindle is easier to read in low light as the contrast is better.

Kindle: 1 month
Nook: 10 days
Nook battery is replaceable- meaning you can carry extras or replace it if it fries. Kindle’s is built-in and must be sent to Amazon if there is a problem.

Kindle: 3G (not expandable)
Nook: 2G, but has external card slot to add much more. 2G is approx. 1,500 books.

Kindle: 38.5 ounces (less than a paperback)
Nook: 11.6 ounces. For comparison, a big hardback like Breaking Dawn, the last book in the Twilight series, weighs over two pounds.

Book Format:
Nook: ePub format, which some libraries are also using as it is NOT a protected file. This allows for legal and easy loaning of books to friends for 2 weeks at a time. Nook is also partnered with Google books (which has millions of titles for free).
Kindle: Protected file- sharing not easily allowed, won’t read books from libraries in ePub format.Bottom of Device:
Nook: Touch, color screen at the bottom. As the designer in me typically judges a book by its cover, I like to see the covers in color.
Kindle: Push-button keyboard (which could be easier/faster for finding books if you have a massive library).

Book Price Comparision:
I choose some books off the top of my head and looked up prices on both sites.
Kindle: $8.01
Nook: $7.59

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Kindle: $6.17
Nook: $6.17

Pride and Prejudice
Kindle: free
Nook: $1.99

Kindle: $8.59

Bet Me
Kindle: $2.99
Nook: $7.99

The Omnivore’s Dilemma
Kindle: $12.99
Nook: $12.99

Both have a plethora of pretty, protective cases. A case can make it feel more like a traditional, open book in your hands. Also, if you spend a lot of time in Barnes & Noble, get a Nook- you can read any book while you’re in the store for free from cover to cover. While you’re in store discounts and things like free coffee or even free books will appear on the color screen below the reading screen. Technology impaired? You can take your Nook to B&N and get free, live help. Not so with Kindle.

I have no idea. If one of them showed up free on my doorstep, I certainly wouldn’t be disappointed with either reader. For my friend Rebecca, the expandability of the Nook’s memory makes it the clear winner. Since she is a veracious reader, I may just jump on her bandwagon as we can share books easily (mailing the hardcovers to and from Chicago is getting expensive, anyhow). Do you have an ereader? Click on MountainKidd’s first poll to weigh in.