If you read last year’s blog you’ll know I’ve been holding out against e-ink for quite some time, doing all my e-book reading on various colour screens. The recent price crash of Nook Simple Touches to £29 (a temporary offer only unfortunately, but isn’t it remarkable how the words ‘Sale’ and ‘Bargain’ affect brain chemistry) was an offer I really couldn’t refuse. Just how much of a price drop this is varies according to the different retailer’s calculations. In the UK they were introduced at £109, came down to £79, dropped to £69 to match the basic Kindle, but still didn’t sell when faced with Amazon’s massive marketing muscle. They sold even less than the Kobo readers promoted by WH Smith, despite the fact that technical reviewers frequently judged them the best basic e-ink device available.
But at £29 I suddenly became enthusiastic about e-ink and placed an order through Barnes and Noble. Lots of other stores had the promotion – Currys, Argos, John Lewis – and within a couple of days everywhere had sold out and my order was accepted with a delivery date ‘to be advised when stock becomes available again’.
I haven’t seen it yet but no doubt it will have a sticker somewhere saying ‘Made in China’ and it looks like the latest container ship docked yesterday. One thing for the Barnes and Noble store – their order tracking system via UPS is unmatched in detail.
Being used to finding rail tickets booked in advance for my local station at Norwich have been posted from Edinburgh I wasn’t surprised when UPS tracking showed the first sighting of my Nook in the Netherlands. Presumably the Chinese ship docked at Rotterdam. By 9.39pm it had reached Utrecht. It stayed there until 2.43am when it left for Brussels in Belgium arriving at 4.54am. It stayed in Brussels, no doubt enjoying a leisurely breakfast waffle until 11.18am today.
Where it transits next is still to be determined but they estimate it should be on my doorstep tomorrow sometime. All this for £29! I looked up the Royal Mail parcel rates and the quote I got for shipping that route in the same timeframe was £28.25 + VAT. Barnes and Noble really were giving them away.
More on the subject when I have the thing in my hands. Can hardly wait!