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Yet Another Ebook Reader

October 22, 2009

Yesterday, Barnes and Noble, the US bookseller, launched their Kindle competitor, the Nook.

Barnes and Noble Ereader, the Nook

Barnes and Noble Ereader, the Nook

It’s not currently on sale in the UK, and content for the reader is currently only available for the US, which is not great, but here’s what caught my eye.

The Nook allows you to share an ebook you have purchased. And it’s really simple. You buy something, transfer it to your device, and read it. Then you want to lend it to a friend (I do this all the time, otherwise my Amazon bill would be horrendous!), and as far as I can tell, with most readers you can’t do this. With the Nook, you give B&N the email address of the person you want to lend the book to, and they allow them access to it for 14 days. During this time, you won’t be able to read the book on your device. That would be perfect for me. As far as I can tell, with a Kindle, I would have to lend the whole device, which would pretty much defeat the object.

I’m not holding my breath over this particular device, I think the screen might be a bit too small for my liking (it’s 6″, which I think is the same as the Kindle 2, but smaller than the DX), and I’m not sure about the touch-screen at the bottom, which acts as a browser and keyboard, amongst other things – I think I prefer the real keyboard, but I do like that someone is coming up with a device which is going to keep Amazon on their toes. Now, if they can just have an annoucement on international sales, then I’d probably give it a second look.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. jwordsmith permalink
    October 22, 2009 3:24 pm

    You’re right. This is the first eReader to announce lending capability. It’s still going to rely on the publishers’ say-so, whether or not a particular titles will be able to be lent. (They gave them this power with Kindle’s Text-to-Speech option too, and a disappointing number of books don’t have it anymore).

    I like the 6″ screen though. I find it comfortable.

    • October 22, 2009 4:32 pm

      It’s still going to rely on the publishers’ say-so, whether or not a particular titles will be able to be lent.

      Ooh, I didn’t know that – it seems to have been mysteriously absent from everything I’ve seen so far, so thanks for that. I would like to think that the publishing industry would have learnt some lessons from music and movies, (and maybe noticed that it has been very easy to lend their existing product as often as you like). I actually think this is a really good solution that the Nook is offering – if I lend someone a real book, I can’t read it while they have it, so why should I expect to with an ebook?

      As for the 6″ screen, I haven’t tried it yet. A friend is lending me a Sony reader they have never used in the near future, which will be my first experience with an eReader. It might be ok in practice, but from a my position of ignorance I think I like the larger screen. Maybe because I usually read hardbacks or trade format?

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