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My Nook, Minus the Book

How a print enthusiast learns to embrace her first e-reader.

Last month I made an impulse purchase, thanks to one of those daily deals sites. I bought a Barnes & Noble NOOK Color 8GB eReader with WiFi and 7” Touchscreen for only US$ 135. Did I need a Nook? No, but I was curious.

I'm old school when it comes to reading materials. I prefer paper, thank you very much. I like the feeling of a hardback or paperback or glossy magazine in my hands, the act of turning the page to find out what happens next, and the comfort of curling up in bed with a new novel.

Still, I wanted to see how a Nook might change my reading habits. Or maybe I just wanted to see what else my Nook might do, which is why I decided to turn it into an Android tablet.

I researched online to figure out what I needed to do to void my warranty and hack my new Nook. Then I found out about the N2A card, which will set you back between $35-80, depending on how much storage you want. The practical side of me debated — do I go the DIY route and save $50 on the N2A 6GB Nook to Android microSD Card? Or do I listen to my dear ole dad, who told me to think about how much I bill for an hour of my time before deciding whether I want to do my own labor. Of course, he was referring to oil changes at the time (which we decided are much cheaper for me to outsource than do myself), but I think his advice fit well with my new Android device.

I sprung for the microSD card, which arrived in a couple of days and I popped it into my new Nook and voilà, an Android tablet that I could use as a Nook, a Kindle, or for a thrilling game of Angry Birds. So naturally, I played Angry Birds, but quickly tired of it because the Nook was an odd size to hold in my hands as I bombarded pigs.

My feelings for reading on my e-reader hadn't actually changed at all. I still preferred my hardcover book, dog-earred pages, dog-toothed covers, and all.

Meanwhile, my darling teenage daughter and I had been fighting over our one television on the rare occasion that I have both time and desire to watch it. She hogs the Roku, streaming series after series of anime or manga or childhood-favorite cartoons, except for the few times I've talked her into watching some classic Star Trek episodes with me.

I suppose I could stream Netflix on my laptop in the comfort of my room, but I sit in front of that screen all day long, so it's too easy to switch over and start working again or checking emails.

My new Nook, on the other hand, feels like a recreational device, even if I'm not using it to relax with a good read. And that, my friends, is how I fell in love with my Nook/Android tablet. While my child is downstairs enjoying anime or some trashy teen t.v., I'm curled up in my bed, next to my tattered half-read book and woman's best friend, watching the Buffy episodes I missed in the '90s.

One month with my Nook, and consider me hooked... on Buffy, at least.

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