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Smartphone, Kindle or Nook

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Will be in Europe for a month in May. I have a Smartphone 4, which maddenly will not work as a phone in Europe, but I was wondering if the e-mail, texting, google part will work there. Would I have to be in a wifi area? Probably wont work on a cruise ship either? Don't laugh, I KNOW I am ignorant about all this. If you have some info for me, just pretend you are addressing someone in kindergarten!!

Also, as a big reader, I am thinking that a Kindle or Nook would be much better than 4 paperbacks. In case I find myself lounging around the pool in the Med (yay!) Are there any major differences between the two? I was thinking about the Nook for about $149.00 which is in color. a). Would I be able to read in the sun, and b). Would I be able to download books from a Stateside Library while in Europe.

Don't forget, kindergartenese!

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