Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Kindle or Nook? Nook or Kindle?

Which would you prefer to own (or to buy as a gift): a Kindle or a Nook? As you most likely know (if you've logged onto Amazon and BN.com to buy gifts this holiday season), both Amazon and BN.com are hyping their ereaders with all their virtual might. Both the Kindle and the Nook are featured on Amazon and BN.com's home pages, respectively. And both boast the same selling price ($259 and free shipping).

For those of us who haven't compared the Kindle and the Nook for ourselves (and I believe you'd have to "live" with both for awhile to really be able to do that), the Kindle and the Nook would appear similarly attractive to shoppers except for one key difference. The Kindle is currently available (in fact, Amazon is apparently claiming that the Kindle is outselling any of its books), and the Nook is not. A quick click from BN.com's home page to the Nook page itself indicates that the Nook, which it calls the "hottest holiday gift," is out of stock.

As someone who has spent an hour or three hunting down a Zhu Zhu Pet (don't ask), I can tell you that an item isn't much of a hot holiday gift if it's out of stock.

So I think the "Kindle vs. Nook" dilemma is solved, for now. Next up: are book lovers really ready to swap their anytime, anywhere, no-batteries-needed hard copies for an ebook reader experience?

Maybe, but this book publicist isn't quite ready to go there yet. And, for my book promotion campaigns, I'm still sending out hard copies of books instead of presuming that TV and radio producers, and newspaper and magazine editors, have ebook readers and would except a digital book from my clients.

So I'm not morally convinced that the ebook reader's time is at hand quite yet. But talk to me next year when everything might be different ... and, most likely, will be.