Maybe it was my parents’ way of saying I need more to do, but this year for Christmas, they bought me a Barnes and Noble Nook Color.
At my last job, many of my co-workers used their iPads for meetings, reading books, note-taking and more. I dreamed of buying my own after saving up for a few months while working there. Then things changed.
While I was home during my Thanksgiving break, I found myself on the L after leaving a friend’s apartment. While on the train, I saw a woman who inspired me. She was professionally dressed but in the cutest way possible. She had a great briefcase/purse, a warm but light white-and-black tweed coat, and her Chanel sunglasses tucked in her brunette mane. While standing on the train as it twisted and turned its way toward downtown, she effortlessly read a novel while on her commute to work on a Nook.
Having found myself on the fence about moving back to Chicago or trying to stay in Charlotte, this woman represented not only who I could be but who I wanted to be. Why couldn’t I find myself reading a cheesy romance novel on my way to my fabulous new PR or marketing job and looking cute while doing it? In that moment, I decided I wanted to get a Nook or some sort of e-reader.
I told my mom what I saw and a few weeks later, I found myself lucky enough to be holding a Nook in my hands. My mother later said she hoped it would bring luck so I could be the girl on the train.
From first glance, it looked like a giant Android phone. Same OS. Same user-friendly design. Then, I found myself clicking the “Shop” button. I was a goner.
Book after book, I found myself clicking “Purchase” or “Free Sample” a few too many times. I decided to purchase one book for fun (Bright Lights, Big Ass by Jen Lancaster – about a woman who was laid off and looks for work in Chicago based on the author’s life), a book about job-seeking (Killing the Cover Letter by Gene Kincaid – a book for PR/advertising majors) and a book about fun PR stunts (Can We Do That! Outrageous PR Stunts That Work – And Why Your Company Needs Them by Peter Shankman). And that does not include all of the free issues of magazines I received since they offer a free trial of any magazine.
These books not only will help me pass the time but will also help with my job search – and best of all – all of these books are one size physically and all fit into my cute little e-reader.
Then, I started exploring the free trial issues I downloaded of various magazines. I downloaded issues from Vanity Fair, Glamour, and Wired. As a marketing professional, I was fascinated by how each magazine’s articles were optimized to connect readers with the websites where they could purchase various items.
As the daughter of a journalist as well as the owner of a PR degree, I’ve heard for years how print is dying. I think with the optimization of magazines like this, print is not dead – it’s just wearing a new coat. With so much of a magazine or newspaper depending on ad revenue, this is the way publishers can garner more ad dollars as new ideas for optimization begin to roll out.
I don’t think I have realized just yet all of the capabilities of my new favorite device but one thing is for sure – I can’t thank my parents enough for it.
While looking for a quote for this entry, I admittedly searched for a good quote. I’m not afraid to admit it but I felt this quote is the best explanation of what the experience of reading a book is like:
“A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man’s mind can get both provocation and privacy.” – Edward P. Morgan