Is the Best E-Reader No E-Reader?

To e-read or not to e-read, that is the question!

Following up on on his column over at yesterday about Barnes & Noble’s new Nookcolor e-reader, Harry McCracken offers a timely, Christmas-shoppers-take-note alternative to both the Kindle and the Nook.

You could choose to buy no e-reader at all…  both Amazon and Barnes & Noble are rolling out applications that bring their e-book stores to phones and other gadgets…’s app selection is particularly bountiful: It has ones for iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7, Windows, and OS X. Barnes & Noble has ones for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows. They’re not comprehensive recreations… But all the apps are free, and they all work on one or more devices you already own… I do most of my e-reading on other devices. And my single most-used e-reading device is my iPhone, simply because I take it with me nearly everywhere and can dip into any e-book I own in seconds, often while I’m doing something else at the same time… Both companies also have synching technologies that keep track of where you are in a particular tome: I can read a few pages on an iPhone, pick up on my Mac, and then finish a book on an actual Kindle. And I do, frequently.(

Sorry, economy, but Harry’s on to something. Something good. Something smart. Especially for newbies to the digital reading experience. Try it out on hardware you already own. Figure out if you like it. Or still miss books printed on trees. Get your feet wet. Buy nothing. Save your money for nachos. And an airplane ticket to lands exotic. Happy reading…

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