@plisken, the reader was fully charged when I shut it down and tried to start it up again. That's different from any other device. I referred to the outlet because @pthwaite said it might make a difference, but it looks like not even that.
So in essence, it can randomly decide to not boot up, and that is then game over, whether you charged it before or not, and whether you try and charge it later. It's been on the charger for an hour and a half, and still nothing. I don't know of any other device where that would be seen as normal, but certainly not for something that's supposed to replace a book.