Kindle vs. Nook on the iPad

Earlier this year, Kindle ebook sales at Amazon.com reportedly surpassed sales of both hardcovers and paperback print editions, combined. That development happened without any help from me—mainly because I have so many printed book on my reading pile!

I bought my first ebook a couple months ago (the new Bible translation, Common English Bible). Besides the Bible, I downloaded my first ebook a few days ago. So, I’m still pretty new to reader apps.

There are multiple apps available for reading books on the iPad—Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, Kobobook’s Kobo, and Apple’s own iBooks. The Kobo app has strong social networking/sharing options, if you’re interested in that. In the last few months, I’ve had some experience with iBooks (mostly a few PDFs, including Psalms from the Common English Bible).

Last week, when I went to purchase Church Unique (which I mentioned recently), I decided to compare apps.

First, any of these readers are fine. While both iBooks and Kobo have some nice features (such as animated page turns, which I don’t really need or want), the Kindle and Nook apps are my favorites. At first glance, Amazon (Kindle) and Barnes & Noble (Nook) have a greater selection and are less expensive (at least in the spot checking I did).

Between the Kindle and Nook apps, I prefer Nook, mainly because it has more viewing options. The Nook app has multiple options for line spacing and margins; the Kindle app doesn’t, as far as I can tell. Both have multiple options for color schemes—Kindle has three, Nook has five. Kindle only provides one font, Nook has six.

Both apps allow highlighting and adding notes; I like the Nook’s handling of highlighting better (i.e., searching highlighted passages). The Kindle app offers the capability of sharing highlights on Facebook and Twitter; I don’t know that Nook app does. The one thing I don’t know that either app does is allow copy-and-paste, which would be helpful for blog book reviews!

In my spot checks, ebook prices at Amazon and Barnes & Noble were comparable. Sometimes Barnes & Noble was a little higher. However, because I shop Barnes & Noble through Discover Card’s site, which offers 10% cash back on purchases at Barnes & Noble (right now, there’s a 15% holiday bonus), I still save money.

So, the Nook app is my first choice, but the Kindle app is okay, too. I suspect that most of the ebooks I read will be either Nook or Kindle versions, but Nook will be my first choice when there’s a Nook book available and when it’s less expensive.

If you have a favorite reading app, share your opinion in the comments below!

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