Your Own, Digital Nook

NookYes, you can. You can have your own digital Nook for reading books. Barnes & Noble’s new eReader is called the “Nook”. It is to be introduced today to the clamoring masses, just in time for the holiday rush.

Its feature set is impressive. The unit will have a grey and white reading display area, with a color touchscreen immediately below the reading area.

But it gets even cooler: the Nook will allow both wireless book downloads and the ability to lend books to others (unless, of course, your friend is sporting a Kindle). A sizeable number of B&N’s offerings will be downloadable for free via the Google Books project, not available to Kindle users.

This has gotten me to thinking, which is always a dangerous thing: when are “they” going to allow these eReader units to access reference materials or library works on a temporary loan basis? Imagine heading off to court with the relevant portions of the applicable administrative codes and annotations in your slick, slim, touchscreen beauty? You can “return” the sections when you no longer need them and fill your eReader back up for your next case.

Asking price is $249, which matches the latest Kindle price.

So, what do you think? Will you be reading from a screen this holiday season?


The Kindle Alternative

I have been waiting for the Plastic Logic and Irex eReaders to become widely available – I like their look and design much better than the Kindle.

The good news has been rolling in over the last couple of weeks: Irex and Plastic Logic and Barnes & Noble have teamed up to face the Kindle head-on in the eReader wars. The Irex / B & N offering appears focused as a direct competitor.  The Irex reader has a 8.1 inch touchscreen, a stylus and a 3G wireless connection. The identity of the wireless carrier has not yet been disclosed.

The Irex will take advantage of B & N’s larger selection of eBooks. Nice to have choices.

Hat Tip to ReadWriteWeb.