Up Early

I'm up. Judith's up. Koda was up for a wee but went back to sleep. Evelyn was up and running, but now she's going back to bed until the human turns the horrid light off. Mary is up, but as usual I'm supposed to pretend otherwise, like I didn't just see her cranky head stick out of the ceramic log. Heidi is not up, but I did the "Heidi! Wake up! Are you alive?!" check last night, so I'll leave her alone now. (Her tumour has broken the surface a little, which leads to occasional polka-dots of blood in the hamitat, which leads to me fearfully annoying her.)

I want to read, but the Kindle is somewhere in the bedroom, and I'm afraid I'll wake Mike up if I go back in. I have dim memories of him tossing and turning in the night, and at some point getting very exasperated and resigning himself to Tylenol P.M. Then I have another memory of getting up at 11 p.m. and he was working on networking our computers. All I know is that when I got up at 3 a.m., I was fervently hoping that it was no later than 5 and I could get a little more sleep. Now it's nearly 5 and I'm not even trying anymore.

Oh, and I also remember getting paranoid at 3 a.m. because I couldn't hear Mike breathing. I think I was more subtle with him than I was with Heidi, but I still ended up waking him up. Poor guy.

A lot of anti-Kindle commentary out there with Barnes & Noble's new Nook e-reader. You know, the one with the iPod-like touchscreen and the small colour menu at the bottom.

Since the Nook allows magazine subscriptions and has wireless, I think we've finally stopped looking at apples and oranges. Now it's more like... Valencias and Mandarins. (Mike and I had this endless discussion where I say that Mandarins are a type of orange and he says they are not, but similar. Turns out we are both right. The Mandarin is only an orange in the sense that a tangerine is, but at the same time, it is a Mandarin orange.) I don't know if the Nook does sample chapters the way the Kindle does, but if so, maybe it's more like Clementines and Mandarins.

Amazon has been flashing updates to my Kindle like crazy, so on that front, three cheers for the Nook and the competitive spirit. Amazon has also been talking about various feature upgrades to come soon. (The long-awaited book organization system.) These are all free to current Kindle owners, so I'm a happy-slappy.

Of course, I am a little smug when I read reviews (like on the worthy Engadget) criticizing the Nook for having a noticeably slow page-turn rate. Ha! Take that, Kindle-haters! Whatever bells and whistles, isn't duplicating (and improving) the physical book experience the ultimate test of the device? HA.

But, Engadget points out several cool things that the Nook does, like let you lend some books (it's a publisher decision) for 14 days to friends, browse by cover, and use Google's Android OS, so I won't pretend that this isn't worthy competition. That said, some "features," like being able to easily acquire Google's public domain library (also available for free in a zillion other places), or like being able to browse an entire book on the Nook if you are sitting in a physical BN store and have not exceeded 60 minutes of Nook-browsing in a 24-hour period (Wait, you want me to leave my house and go sit in a Barnes and Noble? Tell me this isn't their answer to sample chapters...), really seem to be small considerations, despite the hype otherwise. But the Nook still seems to be positioned for, frankly, greatness, assuming they sort out the issues with the actual reading experience. (See the Engadget review for details and comments.)

A Kindle-vs-Nook war is probably inevitable. Before, people had preferences (Sony, Kindle, Iliad, whatever), now they will have religion. Having already tithed, I'm likely to stick with my current church, but that doesn't mean that, tongue-in-cheek zings aside, I want to be overly holy about it. Hopefully there is room for as many types of e-reader as there are, say, Blu-ray players and TVs.

(True, I admit to having a dislike of Barnes and Noble that goes back 20 years, peaking around the not-really-that-early web days when they were so disdainful of online bookselling, but if their Nook makes for a better Kindle, I'm ready to put aside the bygones.)

And now I've just about put myself to sleep with all this talk. There's still time for a 50-minute nap - the stupid light's going out now, Evelyn. Let me zonk out to the sound of your cheerful treading...

08 December 2009 |






Carnival Elation (2009)
Carnival Splendor (2009)
Carnival Spirit (2010)
Carnival Spirit (2011)
Carnival Splendor (2011)
Norwegian Pearl to Alaska (2012)