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imno007
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Registered: ‎03-24-2010
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Nook - First Impressions

[ Edited ]

Well, I've only had my Nook since Friday evening, so it's a little too soon to make a lot of  conclusions but I thought I'd jot down a few notes on my first impressions of this device.

Right away I'll tell you that my biggest disappointment with it so far is the battery life. Battery  life and the e-ink screen ( to take it easy on my aging eyes) were two of the biggest reasons I went  with a device like this rather than a netbook with more power and more features, and it gets a 'D'  grade when it comes to battery life. I did a full charge Friday evening, right after finally managing  to get it out of its packaging (harder than you might think it would be!), and I purposefully left  the WiFi on to see what kind of impact it would have on the battery. I turned it fully off late  Friday night, probably some time between midnight and one in the morning, and it wasn't turned back  on till about nine hours later. It was not turned off again. B&N doesn't recommend (nor recommend  against it) that you turn it off except when you're not going to be using it for at least a week, and  I've read posts by some people claiming that turning it off doesn't add significantly to battery  life, but as you'll see turning it off might very well help some.

By Sunday evening, at approximately the same time as I finished charging it on Friday, the battery  was down to 25%, which is when it's recommended you do a recharge. So it was basically 48 hours  between recharges, give or take an hour or two. Then, after the second recharge, I turned the WiFi  off and put it on 'Airplane' mode (which turns off the 3G too), to see how long the battery would  last without any wireless. I've read many posts of people saying that it significantly adds to  battery life, turning off all wireless. Unfortunately, it's not seeming to make a whole lot of  difference in my case. It's Tuesday now, just after two in the afternoon, and the battery is down to  about 35%. No doubt by this evening it will need a third charge.There is one difference in this case,  however, which is that this time I have not turned the Nook off at all since the second charge. So I turned the wireless off,  but not the Nook, and the end result is that I still wont get more than approximately 48 hours out of  the battery. Maybe turning the wireless off and turning off the Nook when it's not in use will extend  the battery a bit further, but I suspect not a lot. Obviously if you just have it on and aren't using  it at all, you might find the battery still charged after several days, but if you're actually using  the Nook to read with every day, even just thirty or forty pages a day, I don't see it lasting much  more than 48 hours before the battery is down to 25%. Maybe you could get up to 72 hours if you shut  down the wireless, turn it off before bed, and use the touchscreen as little as possible, turning  pages with the hard buttons.

I've read a little every day with mine, but not much. I've just finished my first book, and it was a  short one, at about 200 pages. I'm twenty pages into another. So it certainly wasn't thousands of  page turns impacting the battery. However... after the second charge I also started playing around  with the search and dictionary features. I wasn't keeping strict tabs on it, but it seemed the  battery took a significant hit soon after I started experimenting with those functions. I just  remember seeing the battery icon showing as very nearly full and thinking that was a good sign, and  then soon after doing several word look-ups and searches seeing that it was down to about three  quarters. Probably not a coincidence. It seems that everything involving use of the touchscreen will  have a significant impact on battery life. That's why I mentioned above that maybe using the hard  buttons to turn pages would help extend battery life.

Okay, that was a long time to do on about the battery - but I did say it was my biggest  disappointment, and I wanted to go ahead and get it out of the way. As far as actually using the  Nook, I'm mostly satisfied with it. The first thing I did with it, after plugging it in for it's  first charge (it comes with a usb cord and AC adapter), was set up the wireless so that I could  register it. Actually, even before connecting to my home network, I right away picked up a wireless  connection from someone in the neighborhood, and it was with that connection that I registered my  Nook. After that I connected with my own wireless network, which was a simple matter of  putting in the network name and password. The connection was immediate. Then I checked out the B&N  store a bit, navigating through several pages, checking out the menus. You can browse titles by genre  and you can search via a virtual touch keyboard on the bottom touchscreen (the top screen, the  reading screen, is NOT a touchscreen). The keyboard takes some getting use to, just how much pressure  to apply when tapping the keys, the response time, but you get use to it quick enough. The response  time is [i]not[/i] great, there's a small lag between key presses, and probably the better typist you  are the more frustrated you'll be when using it, but it not that bad. Considering you're using this  virtual keyboard to do author and title searches, and not to write emails or long drawn out pieces  like this one, you'll find it a useful feature as long as you're capable of exercising a little  patience. You can also side scroll through titles by their color covers, which is kind of neat. Press  on a cover and you'll get an overview, rating, etc. I haven't purchased an ebook yet from B&N, but  it's easy to do if and when you want to. After you've gone online and added a credit card to your   B&N account, which most people will do when ordering their Nook (I used Paypal), all you have to do  is highlight your choice and hit the buy button. I say "button" but, again, this is done on the  bottom touch screen. The only actual buttons on the device are to turn pages back and forth (which  you can also do by touch) - oh, and the power button at the top of the Nook. Everything is else is  done with the touchscreen.

Menu navigation via the touchscreen also takes some time to get use to, particularly when having to  use your finger to scroll up and down some of the options, and for whatever the reason you'll occasionally press an option and  instead of getting the correct menu the screen will flicker and you'll suddenly be looking at the  Nook logo screen or something else besides what you pressed for, but using the touchscreen is mostly a good experience. The screen requires only a very light touch to execute any command, and  moving between menu options, like the various settings options, is quick. You'll get one-second  results with these options. The page turns when reading...eh, not so quick. They can take anywhere  from two to four seconds. I've no idea why some take longer than others, when you're reading only  text, but they do. However, I'd say the average page turn time is closer to two seconds than  four, and that's good enough for me. I've read a lot of reviews claiming that the Kindle is only  "slightly" quicker at it than the Nook, so the general consensus seems to be that the Nook is only a  little slower than the world's most popular E-reader. By all accounts the Nook got a speed boost  after the last firmware upgrade, so there's hope it will get another boost after the next upgrade.  And being able to "swipe" through pages is certainly cool. As I said above, there's buttons for this if you prefer, but all it takes on the touchscreen is a little diagonal motion with a finger, up or  down one small area of the screen, to go back and forth between pages. After a while you'll find  yourself doing it almost lazily.

If you want to search for a word (like a character's name) in the text, you again have use of a  virtual keyboard. You can choose to search for either a previous or next occurrence of the word,  going back or forward for however many occurrences of the word there is. This works well enough, but  I haven't found a way to immediately go back to the page I was reading. So if you go back for, say,  the third from last occurrence of the word, you might find yourself a hundred pages back from the  page you were reading, and the only way to get back there is to click forward one search at a  time. And don't think you can just toggle to the main menu to tap the "reading now" option, because  it will just take you back to where your last word search result was, not to where you actually left  off reading. It would be better to just have some option to "resume reading" after doing one of these  searches. Also, the Nook does have a dictionary, but it's another area in which hopefully there will  be some improvement come the next software upgrade. As it is now, you use a little D-pad - arrows up,  down, left, right - to move to the word you want to look up and then tap the search bar. It usually brings back a result fairly quickly, but it's the moving up and down and left and right to get to the  word in the first place that's annoying. There's the same time-lag as when using the keyboard, and if  you click a directional arrow too many times too quickly, you'll overshoot the line the word is  located on and have to back up. You should have a keyboard option here too. Although the keyboard  could be quicker, it would be faster than the present method, especially when the word you want to  look up is near the end of the page. The other bad thing about the search is that it doesn't appear,  from my admittedly limited usage, to yield results for variations of a word, word parts with  different prefixes, suffixes, etc. For example, "plutocracy" might be in the dictionary ( I don't  know for a fact it is!) but "plutocratic" might not be, and so if you're searching for "plutocratic"  you'll get no result. I could be wrong about this, though, maybe I've just got unlucky with a couple  words.

Well, this is getting very drawn out, so let's speed up my little synopsis here. You can set a  bookmark, but only one per book. I'm not sure why you'd need more, but I thought I'd point this out.  And mostly you won't need them because the device always remembers where you left off. If you're  reading two books at once, it will remember where you stopped with both. Also, as I mentioned above  in passing, there's a 'reading now' button on the main menu.  I've no reason to believe it's special  to the Nook, but I find it a very handy feature: tap this button and you're brought right back to the  last page of the last book you were reading. You can also jump to different chapters of a book.  There's three different fonts and four different font sizes to choose from. You can add your own  screensavers and wallpapers, adjust screen brightness, and sleep times, and time zones - although, I  have to admit, the clock doesn't keep time very well (mine is always at least an hour behind). Also as mentioned above, there's what's called an "Airplane" mode and this turns off the device's wireless  capability. And yes, the Nook plays MP3's but, considering the impact on battery life, I doubt I'll  be listening to a lot of music or audiobooks on it.

I've only loaded ePub formatted books on the device so far, so I can't comment yet on how well it  handles PDF's. The Epubs display great, but that seems to be the case with most E-Readers - well, at  least those that can read the format at all (the Kindle can't). It's as easy as you might imagine to  add a book: plug the Nook into a USB port and drag and drop your ebooks into your Nook folder. As I  said above, I haven't bought anything yet from the B&N store, so I can't comment on that, but judging  from everything I've read it's a breeze. Once I softroot this baby I'll be able to download from some  other free sites, but that's up the road a bit.

Other thoughts: you can add a microSD card, up to 16 GB. You probably wouldn't want to store that  many ebooks on the Nook even if you could (there's reportedly a limitation of 1273 user  files/titles), because you can't create folders and it would get terribly unmanagable after a while,  but of course it's good for storing MP3's - though they too get lumped in with the ebooks, so it's  definitely a bit of a mess when it comes to file management. I forgot to mention it before, but the Nook does have a highlight/note-taking option. I haven't messed around with it too much, but based on  my experience so far it appears to be broken. I've been able to highlight a few words and after  saving them they're still there when I choose to check my notes, but each time I create a new one the  last one disappears. So I've been unable to make a note on multiple pages and then go back and find  those notes. I only ever see the last one. Hopefully this is something else that will get improved with a future update.

This all probably came off sounding like I have more complaints than praises for the Nook, but really  I'm quite enjoying it. I just wanted to be fair and let people know to expect some less than ideal  performance with some features- but there doesn't seem to be any "ideal" E-Readers out there right  now, so it's a matter of finding one with deficits you can tolerate.

 

 

END NOTE: I actually posted this first on another board for someone who wanted to know what I thought of the Nook, and perhaps predictablly one of the first responses I got was:

 

"Okay... it sounds like you won't buy the Nook again, so I won't either."

 

To which I responded:

 

"No, I wouldn't be willing to say that I wouldn't buy it again. As I said above, it probably came off sounding worse than it is. Actually, I knew about a lot of these faults beforehand and I still bought it, which is perfectly in line with my advice to get a reader that has deficits you can live with. I read a lot of reviews for a lot of readers and they all had more than a few things I didn't like about them. I've no doubt that if I'd bought a Kindle instead I would have been just as critical. Like I said, my single biggest complaint about the Nook right now is the battery life. Everything else is just really nitpicking, things that can be improved with future firmware updates - as hopefully battery life will be too."

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eDigest
Posts: 487
Registered: ‎12-09-2009

Re: Nook - First Impressions

 

imno007 wrote:

Well, I've only had my Nook since Friday evening, so it's a little too soon to make a lot of  conclusions but I thought I'd jot down a few notes on my first impressions of this device.

 

 

I realize it doesn't say this in the docs, but your nook has to "learn" your battery life.  Your experience with the first charge is not a good indicator of normal use.  It will improve over time.

 

Solid state equipment and batteries both have quantifiable energy profiles so everybody should have similar experiences assuming similar configurations.

 

Your battery life will depend a fair amount on your nook configuration and I have come to the conclusion (based on some unscientific measuring over the past six weeks) that the touch screen makes the biggest difference.  If you do a lot of word-lookups, notes, etc, so the backlit screen is on a high percentage of time it will impact your battery life more than anything else except running wifi & 3G.  Also, if you leave it in the default too-bright setting it will shorten battery life.

 

I will probably post the results and conclusions one of my testing one of these days, but I would challenge you to check your battery level and read for an hour then check again.  Do this once or twice a day over the next few weeks.  You should see an improvement over the next couple weeks as the circuitry learns how long your battery really lasts.

 

 

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imno007
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Re: Nook - First Impressions

[ Edited ]
eDigest wrote:

 

imno007 wrote:

Well, I've only had my Nook since Friday evening, so it's a little too soon to make a lot of  conclusions but I thought I'd jot down a few notes on my first impressions of this device.

 

 

I realize it doesn't say this in the docs, but your nook has to "learn" your battery life.  Your experience with the first charge is not a good indicator of normal use.  It will improve over time.

 

Solid state equipment and batteries both have quantifiable energy profiles so everybody should have similar experiences assuming similar configurations.

 

Your battery life will depend a fair amount on your nook configuration and I have come to the conclusion (based on some unscientific measuring over the past six weeks) that the touch screen makes the biggest difference.  If you do a lot of word-lookups, notes, etc, so the backlit screen is on a high percentage of time it will impact your battery life more than anything else except running wifi & 3G.  Also, if you leave it in the default too-bright setting it will shorten battery life.

 

I will probably post the results and conclusions one of my testing one of these days, but I would challenge you to check your battery level and read for an hour then check again.  Do this once or twice a day over the next few weeks.  You should see an improvement over the next couple weeks as the circuitry learns how long your battery really lasts.

 

 

 

You're right, eDigest, I had read that before and completely forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder. I'll remain cautiously optimistic. I've read plenty of other posts by people who've had their Nook longer than me reporting a similar experience as mine, but I really hope that you're right and that the batteyr life does improve. If I could get at least 5 or 6 days out of use out of it, I'd be content, since that is what I been led to expect before I bought it. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

 

I'll just add, though, that since you have to do most everything through the touchscreen - well, it's a bit hard not to burn the battery up by using it. :smileyhappy:

Doug_Pardee
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Re: Nook - First Impressions

[ Edited ]
imno007 wrote:

By Sunday evening, at approximately the same time as I finished charging it on Friday, the battery  was down to 25%,

It might be the self-calibration, as eDigest suggested.

 

If not, that sounds like something's wrong. Mine, set for Wi-Fi and left in 'standby' mode, goes down about 15% a day or less. If I do some reading, it goes down a bit faster. I do have the LCD brightness turned down, and the LCD set to fast time-out (so I can use it to turn pages). I rarely have need to activate the radio other than maybe a quick check of The Daily, so the radio is usually off except for the daily 'phone home' in the morning.

 

If the battery life doesn't improve from self-calibration, give Customer Service a call.

 

imno007 wrote:

The keyboard takes some getting use to, just how much pressure  to apply when tapping the keys, the response time, but you get use to it quick enough. The response  time is [i]not[/i] great, there's a small lag between key presses

It's not the touchpad, it's the eInk display. The display takes most of a second to update. If you're a lot bolder than I am, you can type way ahead.

 

imno007 wrote:

I haven't found a way to immediately go back to the page I was reading.

In the LCD menu: GOTO > FURTHEST READ POINT

 

Alternatively, you could set a bookmark there and go to the bookmark when you're ready to come back.

 

imno007 wrote:

the clock doesn't keep time very well (mine is always at least an hour behind)

Something's not right. If you're able to access 3G, the nook should be getting its time from AT&T and it should be 'on the button'; AT&T uses that time to determine how much to bill its cellphone customers for airtime.

 

If it's off by exactly an hour, you need to set the timezone. The nook doesn't seem to officially recognize Daylight Saving Time, so you have to set the timezone to the one east of you. I'm in California, and my timezone is set to Mountain for the duration of DST.

 

imno007 wrote:

the Nook does have a highlight/note-taking option. I haven't messed around with it too much, but based on  my experience so far it appears to be broken.

It is indeed broken in 1.2. I know of at least the following problems:

  • Using Amasis Extra Small will wipe out all of the highlights and notes.
  • You can't use the 'highlight a single word' feature.
  • You have to start your highlighting on the word preceding the first one you want highlighted.
  • The cursor does not always move the way that you think it should.
  • As you move the highlighting cursor, the words it passes over turn lighter (this clears up if you refresh the screen).

In addition, there's no feature to locate highlights and notes. You have to get to the appropriate page and spot them visually. This seems to be a feature problem rather than a bug.

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imno007
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Re: Nook - First Impressions

[ Edited ]

Yes, you're probably right about the screen, I wasn't thinking about that.

 

EDIT: well, I had said the time-zone was correct but after reading your post I messed around with the settings...Normally, I would be on Eastern Time, same as I have my computer set to, but changing the Nook to Atlantic Standard Time seems to have me on the right track. I THINK, anyway. Because I'm pretty darned sure that when I originally set my Nook to Easterm Time it read the correct time, only afterward falling behind. We'll see. Thanks for the tip.

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sub_rosa
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Re: Nook - First Impressions

 

imno007 wrote:

Well, I've only had my Nook since Friday evening, so it's a little too soon to make a lot of  conclusions but I thought I'd jot down a few notes on my first impressions of this device.

A "few notes?"  Dude, that was epic.  It was like the War and Peace of Nook reviews.

 

But take heart - your battery life should improve.  That was also my main concern because the reality was so different from what was advertised.  But since the latest software update, and using the Nook for 3 months, my battery life has dramatically improved.  Airplane mode helps, but I think it really needs a good 30-60 days of cycling the battery from full to drain in order to get it working properly.

 

 


Don't buy from Random House, Macmillan, or Penguin until the agency model is COMPLETELY dead.
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imno007
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Re: Nook - First Impressions

 

sub_rosa wrote:

 

imno007 wrote:

Well, I've only had my Nook since Friday evening, so it's a little too soon to make a lot of  conclusions but I thought I'd jot down a few notes on my first impressions of this device.

A "few notes?"  Dude, that was epic.  It was like the War and Peace of Nook reviews.

 

But take heart - your battery life should improve.  That was also my main concern because the reality was so different from what was advertised.  But since the latest software update, and using the Nook for 3 months, my battery life has dramatically improved.  Airplane mode helps, but I think it really needs a good 30-60 days of cycling the battery from full to drain in order to get it working properly.

 

 

 

 

LoL, yeah, I have to admit that it did turn out a bit longer than I had originally intended.

 

I'll be watching the battery situation closely to see if there's any improvements, and if there is I'll make an amendment here. Thanks.

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schatzieWI
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Re: Nook - First Impressions

yawn
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xtina823
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Re: Nook - First Impressions

My first impression when I first saw the Nook in stores was, I really like this eReader, and it's touch screen and everything. When I finally got it, I did realize that the battery life was a bit short. I kept wondering why my battery would be lower every time I turned it on. I didn't do much with it, except for looking at the eBook shop and the different features. After posting a topic about saving battery life, I was told to turn on the airplane mode, unless I am going to buy a new eBook. 

Other than that, when I went home to open it, I got frustrated because I couldn't get the plastic open and the Nook out of that plastic piece that holds it in place. After playing with the Nook and getting to know all the features and reading sample eBooks, I really love my Nook. 

Owner of a Nook, March 22, 2010
Name: Gizmo
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imno007
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Re: Nook - First Impressions

 

schatzieWI wrote:

yawn

 

Gee, I'm sorry if you've heard it all before. If that's the case, maybe you should just stop reading these kinds of posts. I'd hate for you to fall asleep at your computer and maybe fall out of your chair and hurt yourself. I did title this topic my "first impressions" so that should have been your first clue that it was largely targetted at prospective buyers, to help them make an informed decision - not Nook fawners.

 

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imno007
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Re: Nook - First Impressions

lol, I hear you about the packaging. I think it's the only device I've ever purchased that includes two big pages on just how to open the box. And even then I had a hard time with it. For one thing, the plastic case wouldn't just slide out of the outer cardboard sleeve as simply as the directions made it sound it should - after finally ripping it off, it was obvious that the inside of the cardboard was covered in glue. :smileywink:

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schatzieWI
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Re: Nook - First Impressions

That's yawner, not fawner.

 

 

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imno007
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Re: Nook - First Impressions

[ Edited ]

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schatzieWI
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Re: Nook - First Impressions

exactly!
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imno007
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Re: Nook - First Impressions

[ Edited ]
schatzieWI wrote:

exactly!

 

It was for you, my friend, consider it a gesture of good will.  I can appreciate a man who has the strength of character to be himself, no matter what other people might think about him.
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jnicho
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Re: Nook - First Impressions

 

My battery life has improved dramatically in the three months I've owned my nook.  I now go about six days between charges, and that's with a minimum of two hours of reading per day.  I have the touch screen brightness on the lowest possible setting, quick time out of the touch screen, Wifi off and Airplane mode on.  Even if the battery life doesn't get any better than this, I'm totally satisfied.

 

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SlaughterS
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Re: Nook - First Impressions

I get about 10 to 15 hours of reading out of the nook. (who knows how many page turns - as that is where the battery drain comes in)

 

I can go multiple days without using it, pick it up and not notice any appreciable drop in the battery charge.

 

(I've had my nook since Jan/Feb)

This is the Internet. I'm not going to let my complete lack of actual knowledge stop me from giving my opinion....
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imno007
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Re: Nook - First Impressions

Right, I got some advice in another thread regarding the battery. I'm going to let it completely drain out this time before recharging, so that hopefully it'll properly calibrate itself.

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lovemyereader
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Re: Nook - First Impressions

I have had my Nook for about a month, and I have noticed the battery runs down pretty quick. I will try the airplane mode and other suggestions to see if that helps. Its not a biggie, but I would had read so much about how long the battery life was supposed to be.

 

I have to admit, I have read for 3-4 hours at a time, so maybe that's why : ) When I read for shorter periods, it does seem to last for a couple of days.

 

Thanks for the suggestions.  I love the device, glad I bought it. The LCD screen seems to act strange sometimes, but this is a first edition Nook, I am sure more updates and fixes will come.

 

Screen is a little dark, but not too bad. I've read on my Iphone, and after a while it gave me a headache, from the strain on my eyes.