Kindle and Nook raise stakes – lower prices

The E-book movement has begun cornering an even more nuanced aspect of the bookworm’s world, via a new “E”-facilitation – that being the hallowed act of lending a book to a good friend.

Yes, now you can do that electronically as well! At least, with Barnes & Noble’s Kindle-challenging new e-reader, The Nook (pictured, top). This latest e-reader is stepping up to challenge the long-dominant (and most recent conqueror of Amazon print-book sales), Kindle – just in time, it would seem, for the run up of the (still-yet-early) Holiday Season.

So it’s a grudge match between two very-light weight, thin, flat, glowing, computer pugilists – Amazon’s Kindle vs. Barnes & Noble’s Nook. The Detroit Free Press ran a technology feature article this morning, comparing the two (where you can also vote). This will break down LG3 vs. Wi-Fi, screen displays, access to downloadable books and more.

The Nook will allow you to share your books with friends, allowing them 14-day’s worth of access – essentially, if I can entertain some dystopic thoughts on our account, making you into a quasi-Library-onto-yourself.

Call me too much of a romantic, but this is something of a befoulment of the heartening (and honorable) tradition of book sharing – giving someone your own personal copy; the very same copy that has been held and worn, turned and dog-eared by your hands, thus that your friend can now apply their own touch and find their own experience.

How will that feel on the diminutive computer screen of the Nook?

My whining aside – I do have to cheer the feature of the Nook that allows users to read books for free within a Barnes & Noble store.

The Kindle, meanwhile, returns with it’s own one-up (to the Nook’s limitation) by offering an audio feature that will read the book aloud – similar to an audiobook on CD. But could that lead to potential scenarios of e-readers/audio-readers setting up Kindles in their passenger seats to replicate the typical reading/listening formats of CDs from their car stereos?

Buckle-’em up. They’re not cheap.

Wait…actually….now they kinda are! Kindle is just $139 for WiFi-only; $189 for 3G; The Nook is $149 for WiFi-only model; $199 for 3G

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