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      Is there a niche for the Nook?

      If you've read even a few of my columns , you've figured out by now I'm old-fashioned kind of gal who is adverse to technology. Now I find myself entering the e-reader world. Who'd have thought it?

      My husband's family convinced him that a Nook would be a great Mother's Day gift for me. They all know I'll read the back of a cereal box if I can't lay my hands on a book. I love to read. I had doubts about the Nook. Wouldn't I miss the feel turning a page? Would it be the same reading 947 pages of Ken Follett without the heft of the book in your hand? As it turns out, that hasn't bothered me. So what's the problem? By gosh it's the darned technology.

      I cannot figure out how to download a book in less than three hours. It's making me barking mad. Admittedly, a large part of my hang up is I don't want to read directions and figure it all out on my own. I just want someone to show me how it's done, then I'll muddle my way through. My brother-in-law attempted to instruct me--he downloaded a dozen or more books as I watched. When I tried to replicate the steps this week: utter failure.

      I've come to learn if you want to buy a book, it's super simple to do. You just go to Barnes and Noble's site, click "buy" and it magically appears on your Nook. The Kindle works the same way with Amazon. But in addition to being technologically impaired, I'm also cheap. I refuse to spend money on a book that I can check out at the library.

      I am able to access the Hannibal Free Public Library website and download e-books from most of the libraries in the state; however the waiting list can run long and the selection is short. The library system is finding it hard to keep up with this technology because it costs money. Not only are libraries buying hard copies of a book, but then they have to work e-copies into the budget. And just because it's on a computer doesn't mean you can "keep" a book. It's a copyrighted publication and just like at the actual library, you can only check it out for a couple weeks.

      If you're looking into an e-reader, keep in mind that the basic Nook model will run you about $140 dollars. A Kindle is going to cost about $150. You should also factor in your affinity for technology and the cost of buying books on-line. You can find some sites, like, where you can download for free. I've found this is kind of hit and miss. You may not find the books you want and they may come with a strange format. As I navigate the Nook world, I'm hoping I can become familiar enough with the features that I will grow to love it as much as I do snuggling up with a novel on a rainy day...Lord knows we've had plenty of them!

      Take care ~Sarah D.