Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Community News Network

November 22, 2012

Slate: What not to buy on Black Friday

PALO ALTO, Calif — Black Friday is for suckers, I've always said. This quasi-religious American holiday is, at bottom, a terrible trick retailers lure you in for super-cheap stuff that you want in the hopes that you'll also be sucked into buying a lot of things you'd never otherwise buy. (Hey, is that a $700 meat grinder?)

For several years, I've cautioned readers to spend the Friday after Thanksgiving doing something much more productive with their time-like, say, writing emails to your favorite four-star general. Still, I always like to help out folks who simply can't resist the siren call of a good bargain.

Here, then, is my annual list of Black Friday bargains to avoid and to indulge. Read it while you're waiting in line-it'll take your mind off the terrible shame you feel for succumbing to the madness.

Do not buy an e-book reader without an illuminated screen, especially one that isn't made by Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

In my 2009 Black Friday guide, I advised against buying any e-readers, which then sold for at least $250 and were still part of a maturing market for e-books. Amazon's Kindle was at the top of the heap, then, but it wasn't yet clear which e-book format would win out in the long run. Three years later, all that's sorted out. If you're in the market for a device that just does e-books (as opposed to an iPad-like tablet), there are only two brands to choose from: Get the Kindle or Barnes & Noble's Nook.

The cheapest Kindle sells for $69, and you can pick up the entry-level Nook this week for $49 (it usually sells for $99). But I'd advise against getting either one of these cheapies. That's because we've recently seen a revolutionary feature in more advanced e-readers: Illuminated screens that allow you to read your device in the dark. You can see the light in the Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight or the Kindle Paperwhite, which both sell for $119. (You're not likely to find any Black Friday discounts on these.)

Text Only
Community News Network
  • The Simpsons still going strong

    The groundbreaking animation first hit the air Dec. 17, 1989, but the family first appeared on television in "The Tracey Ullman Show" short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987.

    August 21, 2014

  • Police chief resigns over racial slur repost to Facebook

    A repost on his personal Facebook page of a racially-charged comment by the original poster of a comedy video has forced the police chief of an Oklahoma city to resign his office.

    August 21, 2014

  • Does Twitter need a censor?

    Twitter decided last year to make images more prominent on its site. Now, the social network is finding itself caught between being an open forum and patrolling for inappropriate content.

    August 21, 2014

  • sleepchart.jpg America’s sleep-deprived cities

    Americans might run on sleep, but those living in the country's largest cities don't appear to run on much.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Who should pay for your kids ACT?

    Thirteen states paid for 11th-grade students in all public high schools to take the ACT college admission test this year, with several more planning to join them in 2015.

    August 20, 2014

  • Pets.jpg Why do people look like their pets?

    As much as we might quibble over the virtues and vices of Canis domesticus, however, and over whether human nature is any better or worse than dog nature, even dog fanciers don't usually want to look like a dog.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ice bucket challenge trending up

    Internet trends are a dime a dozen these days. Everything from Tebowing to planking to the cinnamon challenge can cause a wave of social media activity that can last for weeks before fizzling out.

    August 19, 2014

  • Africa goes medieval in its fight against Ebola

    As the Ebola epidemic claims new victims at an ever-increasing rate, African governments in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have instituted a "cordon sanitaire," deploying troops to forcibly isolate the inhabitants in an area containing most of the cases.

    August 18, 2014

  • Democrat? Republican? There's an app for that

    If you're a Republican, you might want to think twice before buying Lipton Iced Tea, and forget about Starbucks coffee. If you're a Democrat, put down that Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, and throw away the cylinder of Quaker Oats in your pantry.

    August 18, 2014

  • Five myths about presidential vacations

    In the nuclear age, presidents may have only minutes to make a decision that could affect the entire world. They don't so much leave the White House as they take a miniature version of it with them wherever they go.

    August 15, 2014