Background on Nook v. Kindle

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A person who was involved in Barnes & Noble's launch of the Nook sends this info about its positioning relative to the Kindle and other potential competitors. This person naturally has a bias in favor of the Nook, but this is interesting as a view onto B&N's thinking.

"Nook advantages
"- More open with ePub, Android OS, and lending
"- My guess is Amazon will copy lending
"- In store WiFi. Users can go in stores and access lots of content from entire books to free publications. Len Riggio, founder and CEO of B&N fought to have comfortable seating in the stores and has prevailed against naysayers thought it would waste valuable space. I think you'll see even more space allotted to this. There's lots of space devoted to music that will be replaced with nook areas.
"- The color touch display really brings the ease of use to ebooks much as Apple did with iPhones.
"- Much larger bookstore that includes Google books
"- Holding. Easier to grip with a contoured and soft touch back. Works equally well for right and left handed."

Again, this comes from an interested party, but it's worth bearing in mind as the product hits the market.

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.
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