Monday, April 11, 2011

As usual, I'm behind

Hopefully I'll get some of this posted this weekend, but currently my To Be Written About list includes 4 anime series, 1 manga, 1 short story, and 1 book.

I'm still on the fence about whether to post about the short story - I don't usually write whole posts about short stories, but it's a standalone thing I read on my Nook, and it's the reason I caved and bought a book by the author.

The lone book (Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves) has been in my To Be Written About list the longest, mainly because I needed a bit of mental distance before I could feel comfortable writing about it. It's one of those books that, if I were still part of a Sci-Fi/Fantasy book group, I would probably be recommending (as long as no one in the group minded a bit of gore) - I think it would make for an excellent discussion.

The 4 anime include Special A, Ghost Hunt, the second season of Maria Watches Over Us, and Antique Bakery. Out of them all, Ghost Hunt was the biggest surprise (it was better than I expected), and Antique Bakery was the one I was anticipating the most.

By the way, as far as my Nook goes, I'm still liking it overall (despite some of the things I've written below). It's going to come in really handy over the next few days. I finally got wireless Internet set up in my apartment, so I've been able to use aspects of the Nook that I couldn't before. Here's a quickie update on some thing I've learned and some things I think B&N should work on. If I'm wrong about any of what I write below, feel free to correct me.
  • Shelves: I was excited to learn that I could arrange my e-books into Shelves. I was less excited to learn that simply plugging my Nook into a USB port in my computer destroys those Shelves as if they never existed. I now have two very small, simple shelves (Reading and Finished), which lessens the frustration, somewhat, when they are destroyed. Still, I hope B&N fixes this problem in the near future.
  • Books have to be put on Shelves one at a time. That, combined with the "little" glitch mentioned in my first bullet point, makes me very sympathetic to those who already have many e-books, well organized using calibre or something else, who can't get that lovely organization and usage of metadata (like series titles!) to carry over onto the Nook. Well, I've read that some people can, but it sounds like their methods might invalidate the Nook's warranty.
  • Feeds: There's a section on the Nook called "The Daily" that appears to be an RSS feed reader. There's only one problem - you can't choose what feeds you're subscribing to. You get what B&N gives you. This would be an absolutely awesome feature if you could subscribe to feeds and read text-heavy blogs (like, for instance, mine) on the Nook.
  • Downloads not allowed: Once I got my wireless connection set up, I tried going to Project Gutenberg and downloading a book, just to see if I could. I couldn't. Downloads aren't supported, meaning that books from anywhere but from B&N have to be side loaded. Which kills the Shelves.
  • Until B&N makes it clear which books in their store have DRM and which don't, I refuse to pay for any e-books from them. If it's not possible to get something without DRM, I'll either do without it or get the print version. So far, I have bought 3 DRM-free books directly from the publishers. The two I could have gotten from B&N cost slightly more directly from the publishers, but they still cost significantly less than if I had bought print versions.
  • I'm annoyed that, while the My Library section of the Nook, which holds all books bought from B&N, is able to show covers on the touch screen, the My Documents section, which holds just about everything else, can't. I can't think of a single good reason why this is so.

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