Iowa / Sept. 3, 2012 / by Amy

As promised, here is a post about a few different e-readers and e-reader apps that I’ve been using this year. The only actual e-reader I’ve been using is the Kindle, which I’ve temporarily stolen from Robert, but I have been using the Nook app, the iBooks app, and the Kindle app on my iPhone and iPad. 

First, I’d like to say how difficult it’s been not to buy one of the new Nooks Simple Touch with Glow Light. I’ve seen them in the Barnes and Nobles we’ve been in and it’s always been with great difficulty that I’ve torn myself away from buying one. 

The advantage to the Nook with Glow is that you get both the e-ink technology, which is easier on the eyes and supposedly has no glare (I have found some glare with the Kindle but it’s not awful), and you can read it in the dark. 

The Glow part gives a subtle blue light from around the edges of the screen, so the Nook remains backlight-less but it’s definitely enough to read comfortably in bed, in the dark. It also means that you don’t have to worry about having a separate book light or a cover with one built in. 

The other thing I love about the Nook, and this is probably a rather superficial reason for wanting one, is that the covers for them are really quite stunning. The Nook is somewhat squarer than the Kindle and as a result, the covers look a little less like a normal paperback but it is a lovely shape and they do have the most wonderful designs. I did say it was probably a superficial reason...

If it weren’t for the fact that I wouldn’t be able to buy books for the Nook when I’m back in the UK, I’d very probably have invested in one already.

When it comes to the Kindle, I initially found the setup of the page-turning buttons to be counter-intuitive but, after using an iPad app after reading on the Kindle for a while, I was conscious of how brilliant the buttons were. On each side of the Kindle, there are two buttons - the smaller, top ones are for turning back, and the larger, bottom ones are for going forward. 

At first, I thought that the larger bottom on the left should be for going backwards and on the right, for going forwards but now I see that the advantage to having both larger buttons turn the page forwards is that you can turn the page really easily no matter which hand you are holding the Kindle in. 

On the app, however, if you are holding the iPhone or iPad in your left hand, there’s no point tapping the left-hand side of the screen, because it will just turn the page backwards. So, that is definitely something that I was very pleasantly surprised by with the Kindle. 

Obviously, the Kindle isn't great for books that are meant to be in color, like the knitting pattern book I was looking at the other day. My first consideration about buying it on the Kindle was that I wasn't sure how it would look on the small, black and white screen. But then I thought about the app and decided that if I were to buy a book like that on the Kindle store, that's probably where the app would come in most handy. 

When it comes to the apps for each of the e-readers, including Apple’s iBooks, my preference depends on, oddly, my mood, as well as the availability of books. Sometimes, I enjoy the clean-cut visuals of the Nook app and sometimes I like the slightly fancier iBooks app. 

I find the iBooks and the Nook app to be my favorite on the iPad, with the iBooks app coming first of the two. I like the page turning animation as well as the design around the edges that makes it look more like an open book. 

The highlighting feature is great on the Nook app and works really well if you want to make note of some particularly fascinating text. 

The Kindle app is probably my least favorite when it comes to the three apps but on the other hand, buying a book on the Kindle store means that I can read it on the Kindle itself, with the option of doing so on my iPhone if I’ve forgotten the Kindle. 

The major factor for choosing which to use is probably the availability of the books. Some books are only available on one of the stores and so that determines my choice. Otherwise, I tend to just go with my gut. 

If I didn’t have a Kindle to read on, then I think my preferred choice of e-reader and app combination would probably be the Nook as both are great to read on. 

But as it is, I do have a Kindle to use this year, and a Nook would be no use back in the UK so I just have a complete hodgepodge of books across the various e-readers and apps that I have access to. 

As long as I can keep reading books in some way or another for the rest of the year, I’m a very happy reader.