Though John and I did disagree a bit on which is best, we can both agree that either of these media tablets is an excellent buy for the avid reader and movie lover. Both have excellent displays — the Nook HD+ technically has a slightly higher ppi and laminated screen, while the Fire HD offers stereo speakers.
In almost every way, though, it comes down to software.
Truth be told, Barnes & Noble has come along way in terms of bringing a solid UX to the table, and has done so with Personalized User Profiles and Nook Today (which offers a list of daily tidbits like weather, recommendations, etc.).
Features like Scrapbooking take that simple progress and accelerate into the lead where magazine readers and catalog enthusiasts are concerned. The HD display paired with the interactivity of over 100 supporting catalogs and the ability to save your faves make the Nook HD+ very well suited to anyone who prefers the steady stream of magazines and catalogs over novels, movies, and other one-offs.
If, however, you would rather have a pseudo reader tablet (with the priority on e-reading, and not surfing or email) the Fire HD 8.9 may be the way to go. It too has personalized user profiles for family use, and comes with its own unique features like X-Ray and WhisperSync. It’s great for watching movies, and offers an excellent reading experience too.
All this requiring that you are new to the space and don’t already own a library full of content in either Amazon’s or Barnes & Noble’s cloud.