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I went to the book store today...
...and I almost bought a book for $267, but I resisted.

What I did pick up was something unexpected, a little book of instructions by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess. It's a work Neil did in 2000 for a book called "A Wolf at the Door", and Charles Vess illustrated it last year. A short book at 18 leaves, it is beautifully illustrated and very well written -- it is hard to argue with the instructions. I'm sure it'll be a big hit next weekend with Zahde, Queenie, Rainbow, Pooh, Pan, and the kids.

The instructions are right in line with the book I wanted to get, which nearly cost me $267: Welcome to Bordertown, edited by Holly Black and Ellen Kushner. The list price is $19.99, but the B&N price was only 16.67. It wasn't on the shelf.

What was on the shelf was a Nook Color, which, for $250, would have given me an ebook reader and and Android tablet, and allowed me to buy WtB for $16.67 on the Nook and read it tonight.

I resisted, but it was tougher than I expected.

Here's the thing: I want an ebook reader. Practically speaking, there are two or three options: the Kindle, the Nook, or the Nook Color.

Kindle is from Amazon.com, and integrates well with their system; likewise the Nooks and Barnes&Noble. Practically speaking, I buy more books from Amazon than from B&N, so this seems to be an overall plus for Kindle.

Kindle and Nook have e-Ink displays, which mean they don't glow like a screen but rather change how much light bounces off the screen, much in the same way that black ink bounces less light than white paper. e-Ink reads very much like paper, not like a screen. It is, however, very difficult to do color e-Ink, which is why the Nook Color (and the bottom inch or so of the Nook) is a standard LCD color display. I look at LCD screens all the time, I'd prefer to not have one glowing at me when I just want to sit down to read. This is a plus for the Kindle or Nook.

Kindle and Nook are about $120-140 for a baseline model, depending on the sale of the day, and is likely to go lower by the time I sort this out. Nook Color is $250, mainly because of the more expensive display and processing to go with it. Pro: Kindle/Nook.

But, but, but but.... the Nook Color is also the least expensive Android Tablet out there -- or at least, it's readily hacked into one. It supports the latest Android versions, lots of Android apps, etc. It's not a phone, but it makes it a compelling rival for an iPad or similar technology. That is a big plus, the big plus which is making me go "Kindle, has everything I need, the e-Ink display I want, and is half the price, but Nook Color: Android tablet! Kindle's what I need, Nook Color's Android!" and not buy either.

The answer is, of course, buy the Kindle. I am planning on getting an Android phone in March (I was able to get Skitten's iPhone working again), so going partially Android, partially iOS doesn't make a lot of sense. I'm specifically looking for the e-Ink, and it's half the price. (but Android! I can get a bloody Kindle app for the Nook if I really want it! Ahem.)

Besides, Welcome to Bordertown is $11 on the Kindle, so going that route would only cost me $150+tax...

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Last I checked (for my father), Consumer Reports recommended Kindle as its best buy. Want me to check again?

Is the Kindle letting you check out books from the library yet?

According to the Kindle web page, "Later in 2011..."

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