The above illustration, "Blowing Bubbles," has been adapted for use here by generous permission from the artist, Cyril Rolando.

July 25, 2010

No more nook-e

I've reached the end of my e-reading experience, at least for the foreseeable future.

Yes, my less-than-30-days-old Nook e-reader is now useless. My bad. I dropped it this morning. It slid right out of my hands from a great height, too, about two feet from the bed to the carpeted floor. The screen now resembles one giant bar-code. That's it, right there to the left. I did the reset as recommended in the manual. Fuggedaboudit. All Internet research on troubleshooting the Nook now points to the complete uselessness of this gadget.

I did not buy B&N's insurance and even though I had promptly registered this device with B&N, the extremely limited warranty doesn't apply here. As more than fourteen days have passed since the purchase -- but less than 30! -- B&N doesn't want to refund my purchase. Fine, that's their policy. But could they at least offer a repair or exchange service? Nope, not that either.

Fine. Here's my policy: You don't stand behind your products, I don't stand in front of them. An item should last for at least 30 days, barring abuse. The one light tumble the device took hardly qualifies as abuse. My netbook endures worse on a daily basis. I'm not saying no one should buy one of these gadgets, but if you do, buy the insurance for it and then keep it nestled in cotton-wool in a temperature-controlled environment. By no means should you be so rough and careless as to actually, you know, use it.

Just for comparison purposes, I tossed a hardback book across the room. I tossed it with a lot of force. A couple of crumpled page corners and I had to adjust the dust jacket, but you know, it still works just fine. Helluva reset feature. I got to hand it to the good folks at St. Martin's, they build a product to last. I tried it with a Serpent's Tail paperback and got similar results. Yeah, even the small publishers make a solid product. Hm, I could be onto something here.

I won't be replacing the Nook, and I won't miss the e-reader much except for maybe the Sudoku, and I can go back to my newspaper for that. As for reading online short stories, I guess I'll just go back to how I managed before. Life goes on for this sadder (and $159 poorer) but wiser girl.


  1. After only 15 months, my Kindle broke. The four-way button split diagonally. They offered to sell me another one at a cut rate, but I couldn't really see buying a new Kindle every fifteen months.

    Hopefully there will come a time when these machines are better made and when their companies stand behind them. As I get older, I appreciate the way you can use bigger fonts in e-reading.

  2. Changing font size was a nice-to-have, for sure.

  3. Sorry to hear about the drop. And yeah, if the thing is that fragile (especially for the price), what kind of value is it really offering? Not much in my view. Take care, Naomi.

  4. No, the value-for-money factor is much too low for me to repeat this experience any time soon. And here's a funny thing, this morning I woke up and didn't feel any pressure to immediately read a short story. I hadn't realized the device was acting as a kind of 'guilty conscience' and that I wasn't reading those stories for the fun of it any more. But this morning I got up and realized it was okay to resume my usual morning routine again. It was like a deep breath of fresh air. Very relaxing.

  5. I can't buy stuff that can't be dropped. My cell phone has been dropped and kicked. Even my iPod, which I've had for close to 4 years, has survived well beyond what most people would have expected it to (my kid has gone through three, my wife two in the same time frame), and it has several dents in the case. Unless they make industrialized versions of these things, I can't see me taking the risk.

  6. Wow! COOL-ER went out of business but my reader from them has been rather durable. I've had it since November and I've dropped it, among other things.

    B&N should be ashamed of that behavior. Who did you talk to? Can you contact someone higher?

    Like Chris I've also abused my iTouch. Actually threw it against a cinder block wall - on accident, I swear...I got caught in my head phone cord while on the started right back up. That's durability! :-)

    Hope you can get some satisfaction some way!!

  7. sorry to hear your news.
    hilarious that you threw the hardback as an experiment.
    i usually hit electronic devices that don't work. if that doesn't work, i shake or kick them. after that i give up and cross my fingers.
    i'm still with paper books and happy for now. i'll move with the times when the new times arrive.

  8. I can empathize, my Sony ereader screen did exactly the same thing. Apparently something pressed against it in my handbag (through the thick leather cover). I took it back to the place I bought from thinking I'd get the screen replaced and they said it would cost aprroximately £200! A brand new one (new model) is only £199! Not impressed.

  9. Jen, apparently a LOT of Nook purchasers have already gone down this same road and if you didn't buy the protection plan then after 14 days you're just out of luck. I am trying to see if my charge card will cover the loss though. If not, oh well, lesson learned.

  10. Chris, my iPod is a survivor, too. You wouldn't want to have to watch video on it, it's so scratched and dinged, but by golly, it still plays great. I think I've had mine 4 or 5 years.

    I'm kind of glad I tried the ereader out, but I feel so happy now not to have to use it, that I'm just as glad to end the relationship.

  11. Ugh, you made me want to throw something against the wall just for solidarity! Who gives only a 14-day warranty on something? You didn't abuse it; accidents happen.

    My sister has a 3-month-old iPad that developed a hairline crack down the front. She has 3 small children so anything could've happened. She didn't buy the extended warranty but took it to the Apple store and they just gave her a new one because it was less than a year old. I wish B&N would do that. I hope your credit card company has purchase protection and will refund your money.