The decision wasn't an easy one. After I bought the iPad, it became my go-to device for email, social media and web browsing; I carried it around everywhere for instant access to the world. On the other hand, I had an entire library of books and magazines stashed on my Nook Color from months of reading and collecting.
For a while, I brought both along on my everyday excursions; the iPad for web, and the Nook for reading. But that quickly became a heavy burden (literally). As tough as the decision was, I knew it was time to leave my Nook library behind and switch to a new reading device with a new operating system.
But I have to tell you, I'm pretty lucky. Barnes and Noble makes a Nook app for iPad, so I have access to my old titles on the new device (Kindle-to-iPad folks will have the same fortune). Not all of them, mind you; some of my old magazines won't load on the Nook app thanks to some formatting issue, as my alerts tell me. Some things had to be re-subscribed-to and re-bought. And when I had a new title in mind, I began to buy from Apple's iBooks store. Slowly, I became an iPad reader, and that's where I stand today.
It's a first-world problem unique to the digital age. Paperback books can move from home to home and will outlast any fleeting technology. But those of us who find freedom in carrying the entire Boston Public Library catalog in a half-inch thick tablet face an ironic fate: The freedom provided by a digital library might keep you shackled to a single system for eternity.
I deleted the Nook app this week. Did it hurt to leave behind a library of perfectly good but incompatible books? Sure. But e-reading (or e-listening or e-watching) is not a habit for collectors. If you care about the longetivity of your collection, stick to formats like paper books and vinyl.