Whether you’ve got an e-readers at the top of your holiday list, or you’re shopping for one as a gift for someone else like I am, with so many to choose from it can be…well, hard to choose. So we decided to compare two of the hottest e-readers – the Nook and the Kindle – in a good old fashioned mom-moderated smackdown.

We’ve found that comparing these two e-readers, the newest of which both have wi-fi (and 3G for more money), are sort of like comparing apples and oranges; the best choice really depends on your own personal preference and how you’re going to use your e-reader. Both the Nook and the Kindle use e-ink technology which is easy on the eyes. But here’s a quick rundown on what’s cool about each, so you can decide which one is the
perfect one for you.

KindleThe Kindle

It seems like there are a ton of versions of Amazon’s Kindle, with the newest one starting at $139 and even an oversized version now. But even folks with the old version seem very happy with its performance.

You’ll find no shortage (as in, millions and millions) of e-books from Amazon, that you can download right from the website, as well as from other sources. You can also download books, pdfs, whatever, from remote locations, no computer necessary. At least with a special email address. So for a few cents you can send the download from your phone, and it pops up right in your Kindle. So convenient for frequent travelers.

Another benefit to the Kindle is the physical keyboard, which many folks prefer over the touch-screen kind. While both e-readers might take a second or two to respond, at least with the physical keyboard you know you touched it, so it’s less likely that you’ll keep tapping away until you realize that you just moved your book forward about 10 pages accidentally.

And if you have an iPhone and the Kindle app, your books will sync up, so you can read an e-book from your
phone and then start right back where you left off on your Kindle when you’ve got it in hand.

That’s a huge convenience right when you’re on the last chapter of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and you realize you left your Kindle at home.

Nook ColorThe Nook

The nook is Barnes and Nobles’ wi-fi enabled e-reader which features a touch-screen LCD keyboard, and starts at $149 for the black and white version, or $249 for the new Nook color.

Color is phenomenal when you’re reading magazines, or particularly children’s picture books, but be warned that because the screen is backlit, it can be a little tough on the eyes after awhile.

Similar to the Kindle, you’ll have access to over 2 million Nook titles at Barnes & Noble. There have been a few Nook exclusives, but for the most part, the selection is fairly equal.

One benefit that’s exclusive to the Nook: It allows you to borrow books from the library. And if you happen to frequent Barnes & Noble stores, you can browse in person and download books while you’re there, and even score special deals. Last week, our Associate Editor Delilah flashed her Nook at the barista and got a free Frappuccino.

Due to the color display at the bottom of the Nook, even on the black+ white version, the battery life may not be as great as the Kindle. But it definitely is a nice way to view your book covers and browse titles. Just know that you will have to plug your Nook to a computer to download books that aren’t purchased at Barnes & Noble, which can be a bit of an inconvenience if you’re traveling and want something fast. – CMT staff, with contributions from Cool Dad and e-reader expert, Bill Gookin

So tell us – which one do you have and why do you love it?

You can purchase the Kindle onine at our affiliate Amazon.com and the Nook and new Nook Color at Barnes & Noble, or try them both out in person at your local Best Buy, a current CMT sponsor, and compare to see what’s really right for you.

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