December 14, 2011

Why is a nook a Nook?

            The Recent Paterfamilias is confused by many things.  One of these things is the Nook, the electronic reader from Barnes & Noble.  The R.P. isn’t confused about E-readers in and of themselves, but only about the Nook. 

            But please, allow him to explain. 

            As one of America’s creative geniuses of the 20th century wrote (the italics are my own):

            “We took a look.
            We saw a Nook.
            On his head
            he had a hook.
            On his hook
            he had a book.
            On his book
was “How to Cook.”
            We saw him sit
            and try to cook.
            He took a look
            at the book on the hook.
            But a Nook can’t read,
            so a Nook can’t cook.
            what good to a Nook
            is a hook cook book?”

            Precisely.  “A Nook can’t read.”  So, naturally, this begs the question:  Why would anyone in their right mind name a reading device a “Nook”?  A Nook is a thing that cannot read.  Quite honestly, this seems a conflict of interest.  The R.P. must admit that the term Nook from B&N is probably an anagram of some sort or another clever little marketing device (like NOOK stands for Not a bOOK), and an extensive search of the internet might reveal in one or two nanoseconds what Nook actually stands for, but the R.P. is not concerned with this.  The Recent Paterfamilias wishes to know why, intentionally or otherwise, a reading device has been saddled with the same name as a thing that cannot read.

            This is confounding to the R.P.

            (That being said, it should be noted that, in the near future, in acts of shameless self-promotion, the Recent Paterfamilias is slated to have his novel, Mr. Johnson’s Dogs, available for purchase and perusal on the Nook and the Kindle early next year, and the R.P.’s loyal readers should expect shameless acts of self-promotion to that end.  Said E-book shall also be “priced for all,” as the R.P. likes to put it.) 

            But please, if anyone out there has any idea as to why Barnes & Noble, in her infinite wisdom, chose to name her electronic reader after a thing that can’t read, do n0t keep it to yourself.  Tell at least one friend, and that friend will tell one friend, and that friend will tell one friend, and so on and so forth, and ultimately the Recent Paterfamilias will almost certainly learn why the Nook is called the Nook.  


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