Monday, July 12, 2010

The Nook, The Book, & The Hook

My husband and I just celebrated our anniversary. 11 years of blissful love...

Before the big day, my husband said I was going to like the gift he got for me. Many questions later, all I got out of him was that I had 14 days to decide if I liked it or not... and it's electronic...

When I opened my gift a few days later, after mentioning in passing conversation that I never wanted one of those reader thingies, that I love the feel of a real book in hand, I opened my gift - a Nook.

In all sincerity, I tried to act surprised, happy, and interested. He reminded me I had 14 days and if I didn't like it, we could return it. No hurt feelings. He's a guy. Enough said.

I went through the tutorial, almost, but I lost interest. He loves electronics and went about setting it up for me. And I did try to borrow some of his exuberance, yet walking around the house afterwards, seeing all my books strewn about on table tops, night stands, coffee tables, steps, in bathrooms, next to the pool, on the banister, I couldn't help but know in my heart of hearts that I was never going to fall in love with the Nook. It just didn't feel real.

My books, even the wide assortment I borrow from the library and have to give back after I've fallen in love with them, are like friends to me. I enjoy seeing books all around me, piled up, laying about.

And when I see any given one of them - like Real Cajun sitting on the table next to my laptop right now - I am instantly brought back into the past conversations we've had. And with each book, each friend, I have different conversations going on...

Real Cajun by Donald Link
Secrets to Happiness by Sarah Dunn
Effective Writing by Bruce Ross-Larson
Deeper by Megan Heart

These are the titles of my most current friends, and if you look into any of these books, you can see just how varied our conversations are! ;)

Point being, I love a real book. Love to lay them out, pile them high, anywhere along my path, so that in passing I'll see them again, maybe pick one up for a quick moment alone, maybe just daydream a bit about the story inside.

With the Nook, I just couldn't see myself able to do any of that. I'm a visual person. I need to have my books around me, in view. Or I feel I might loose out on that ongoing conversati
on, forget to pick up a good old friend that I haven't seen in a while because it's conveniently tucked away in some well organized list that I have to go find after turningg something on, recharging something.

It's just not real for me.

And th
at's what I said to the guy behind the counter when we went to return the Nook a few days later. Bored with it, I hadn't even registered it yet.

"But how do you know you're not going to like it if you don't even try?"

How do you explain to someone that I had already done so, in my head. I'm a writer. I can come up pretty quick whether or not a story line is going to work out. For me, I
knew this one wouldn't.

"Most people who said they wouldn't like a reader LOVED it once they actually downloaded some books."

How do you explain to a sales person that you love FREE books from the library.

"But there are millions of free books that you can download into your NOOK!" This was said in a very my gosh, woman, aren't you stupid tone.

How do you explain that you don't CARE about those free books because you just want to happen upon a book at the library, book store, friends house, that looks good.

This was the hook that had caught my darling husband. He thought, frugal mama that I am, would love free books. And I do. I just don't want to have to do so on an electronic device that I have to charge, turn on, find my list, be bombarded with a list of a million books that I can read knowing full well I don't have enough time in my life to do so.

I just like what I like. I like real books.

"Wow. That's a shame." This, said not only by the Nook sales man behind the counter, but also three other Barnes & Nobles workers nearby, listening in on our conversation.

Steadfast in my opinion - I'm in my thirties, I've brought two children into this world sans medical intervention, I've been married for 11 years, I've seen the worst and best life can hand you, and I'm still ticking - I'm allowed to have one. No matter that it doesn't help add to y
our sales commission or that I'm the only person on earth who thinks this way. I don't doubt myself. I like real books!

And, I've studied advertising psychology. I'm impervious to sales hooks.

So I returned the Nook, purchased a real book, and went home happy. I know plenty of people that are in love with their reader, and I'm happy for them. Everyone deserves to be happy.

How about you?

Do you love the book? The Nook?
Both? Or are you still on the fence?

hooks you?

Maybe sometime in the future I'll try the Nook again, see if it's really the best thing going.
But for now, I see one of my books out of the corner of my eye - one of my friends - calling to me, its book cover my favorite shade of turquoise blue... And maybe after that, I'll look for a good Cajun recipe for dinner tonight inside one of my new friends.