Hi, Ranger. Welcome!
> I just bought my mom the nook color. So when we plug it in, if the Nook is powered on, it shows as not charging, but only "charges" when we turn it off. What gives? <
When you say "plug it in", what are you plugging it in to? The charger module, or a USB port on your PC?
> Also, when turning it on, it doesn't respond. We've tried a quick power button push, and a sustained one. It seems to come on only after several attempts lasting over a minute. Is it normally so slow? <
No. If you're turning it on from Sleep, just a quick click will wake it up. If you're turning it on from a full powerOff state, you do have to hold the power button down for 2-3 seconds. It then takes ~30 seconds or so to fully boot up.
> Help, is this normal? I own an ipad, and am used to its speed. <
No, what you're describing isn't normal.
I would reccomend taking it to your local BN. IF they have knowledgeable Nook Experts, they can try your cable with thier devices to see if it's your USB or AC part of your charger. (SIde Note: Warranties(unless you purchased the protection plan) will not cover any physical damage to the device or cables so be real careful if you attempt any troubleshooting at home)