July 1, 2010
Blog interviews Cranny the nook
Blog: Cranny, welcome to the blog and to life at Magic House.
Cranny: Thanks, Blog. I’m really here representing both myself and my twin, Nicher, who is Davie’s nook.
Blog: I heard Davie came up with both your names. I get “Cranny,” but what’s the deal with “Nicher”?
Cranny: Well, Davie was thinking about various synonyms for “nook” and thought of “niche.” Being a French word, it put him in mind of French-Canadian hockey players. And in hockey, player nicknames often are derived by adding “-er” to the last name. Hence, Nicher.
Blog: Fascinating explanation.
Cranny: I tend to be fascinating. I’m just sayin’.
Cranny: She says I’m easier to hold than a book, and page turning is less effort too. And she’s already excited about one day in the future having most of her personal library portable in my memory. I can hold about 1,500 books.
Blog: Pretty sweet! I like your cover, too.
Cranny: It’s functional for protection, but also expresses Diana’s fun and funky personality. Davie went for more of dignity and elegance for Nicher.
Blog: Not that Davie would claim to be either dignified or elegant, of course. But Nicher is very sharp-looking, that’s sure. Now I’m curious...Diana has waited a long time to get an ereader. Why did she finally pull the trigger?
Blog: He’s not a pack rat.
Cranny: Not in the least. So an affordable ereader seemed just the ticket. Diana reads away from home a lot and just wanted the portability. I fit in her purse easily and am really light.
Blog: Tell us a bit about E ink. That’s what makes you different from using a smart phone or iPad as a book reader, correct?
Blog: Speaking of using power, obviously you’re a green technology in more than one way.
Cranny: If everyone read their books, magazines, and newspapers on an ereader, it would save ridiculous amounts of trees. Do you know what traditional book publishing does in this regard? Books that aren’t sold in stores in a limited time typically are not returned or redistributed in some way--they are destroyed. It’s understood in any print run that a large percentage of copies will end up as trash.
Blog: I’m not an eco-maniac, Cranny, but I hate to think of all that waste.
Cranny: Digital content is so cheap to produce, store and distribute. That means older titles can stick around for decades, finding new readers.
Blog: I’m sold. But I noticed before you brought up the “K” word. Why was Diana sold on Barnes & Noble’s nook rather than Amazon’s Kindle?
this comparison page on the Barnes site. But Diana’s main reason stems from her experience publishing books sold for the two ereaders.
Blog: Are these reasons that would matter to people who simply read, rather than sell, books?
Cranny: Most certainly, Blog, and I will explain. Some years back, Amazon used to sell ebooks in several formats, including pdf and Microsoft lit. Diana sold many books that way. But then Amazon decided to make their own ebook reader, and pulled all those hundreds of thousands of titles from availability.
Blog: I don’t get that.
Cranny: They wanted to control the market, so they weren’t going to sell any formats of ebooks other than the format designed for their machine. If buyers wanted to get ebooks from Amazon, they would have to buy a Kindle to read them. And if they wanted ebooks for their Kindle, they would have to buy Kindle versions from Amazon.
Blog: I’m not sure that’s the American Way.
Cranny: Happily, I have anecdotal proof it’s not. Barnes & Noble launched nook two years after Kindle appeared. They already offer more ebooks than Amazon carries, and at least in Diana’s case, they already SELL more. It’s only logical. Customers can install free B&N Reader software on their computers or smart phones and read B&N ebooks on any such device, not just the nook. And publishers can provide their titles to Barnes in simple pdf or ePub format. Diana has told me what a challenge it is producing titles in Kindle format; she didn’t even bother with one of her novels to go through the trouble. It’s the same for other publishers, which is why B&N has more ebooks to sell.
Blog: So in a sense she bought the nook for ethical reasons.
Cranny: Ethical AND practical. Which horse would you back in this race?
Blog: Gotcha, Cranny. Well, you have many reasons to be proud to be a nook.
Cranny: I have easily customizable wallpaper and screensavers, and a built in mp3 player and speakers, too.
Blog: So Diana can rock out to “Code Monkey” by Jonathan Coulton while reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest?
Cranny: Well, she could...had she not already bought it in hardcover.
Blog: Hmmm, a shame.
Cranny: It’s really good, but it would be better weighing nothing, rather than over two pounds. That’s three times what I weigh.
Blog: Even if you were loaded with 1,500 books.
Cranny: Even if.
Blog: Sweet. Well thanks, Cranny. I’m convinced the publishing paradigm needs to shift your way, and I think it will. Very exciting stuff.
Cranny: One more thing, Blog. Diana told me to tell readers that nearly all her books are available for nook as well as the-ereader-who-shall-not-be-named.
Blog: And they are damn cheap that way.
Cranny: Starting at $1.71, Blog!
Blog: Rock! Let’s get reading!
Cranny: You read, I display.