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Old 10-22-2009, 09:46 AM   #1
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Nook buyers beware

Main stream media is jumping on the nook bandwagon big time, but they are neglecting to mention the facts about nook. Before you decide to buy a nook, you should consider this:

(To be fair to the nook, it is good in a lot of ways, and I posted a thread about its positives here: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=60099)

1. B&N's book prices are considerably higher than Amazon's.
2. The Lending feature is seriously flawed; they will have to impose a 1 or 2 lending limit or people will just lend the book over and over again.
3. Free Wi-Fi without a browser is about as useful as free internet on a clock. And you can only access B&N's overpriced store with it.
4. Very limited format support, just 3.
5. The supposedly open ePub isn't really open; it's just another new DRM that won't work with other ePub supporting devices.
6. From the videos the menu system looks pretty basic, and there's no folders support.
7. The LCD screen will no doubt affect battery life greatly.
8. Users may be locked-in to B&N's store for ebooks (meaning their current software won't import other DRM'ed ebooks; hopefully they'll update).
9. From the videos, book formatting doesn't look promising.
10. This is the first generation ereader from a company that has zero experience with ebook readers, and there are likely to be many problems and faults.

Update: Many may not agree with my opinions; that is fine. However, to clarify my reasoning I've decided to post links so that you can verify these for yourself. I'm not trying to bash nook, (I'm probably going to get one in fact; not pre-order though, I'll wait till I can see it in person), I'm just trying to show what I think many people don't see from reading all the very short articles online. It's better to know what to expect in advance and not have to pay a 10% restocking fee for something you don't like.

I admit, the tone of the post is somewhat angry. That's because at first I was really impressed by nook, and thought it would be the next best reader, but after I did some research I became very annoyed with B&N for #1, #5, and #8 especially.

1. Some prices are the same, but many are higher, and not by just a few cents. I'm not plugging Amazon, I'm just stating a fact.

Barnes and Noble's first ebook store failed miserably because they charged the same for ebooks as they did real books. But to keep up with Amazon they will need to lower prices this time around. This is a good thing. You can compare prices here if you don't believe me.

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/ebooks/index.asp

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Books/b...ode=1286228011

MR post: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=59947

2. Although it isn't directly stated anywhere that I can find on B&N's website, Daithi figured it out here on this MR post: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=60148

1 lend per book, provided the publisher allows it.

You can read more about why multiple lends wouldn't work here: http://ireaderreview.com/2009/10/21/...e-should-they/

3. Wi-Fi only allows access to B&N's store: http://www.teleread.org/2009/10/21/b...line-biz-prez/

4. EPUB, PDF, PDB: http://images.barnesandnoble.com/pim...fact_sheet.pdf

5. New EPUB DRM that isn't compatible with previous EPUB supporting devices without Adobe update: http://www.teleread.org/2009/10/20/y...l-drm-in-time/

6. Videos: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/nook/media/
No folder support: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=60064

7. B&N themselves say battery life is about 30% less than Kindle; 30% is significant in my book, maybe not yours.

http://images.barnesandnoble.com/pim...comparison.pdf

8. I'll be the first to tell you this isn't a fact, but I have yet to see any documentation that states users will be able to import purchased DRM'ed EPUBs from places like ebooks.com. Obviously anyone can import any file if they try hard enough, but you got to remember that the vast majority of people who will purchase a nook won't know anything about Calibre or stripping DRM. If B&N doesn't update their software to allow importing these files easily, It'll be a huge pain to work around for most people.

9. Subjective, yes. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/nook/media/

10. I'll admit "many problems and faults" is excessive; I should have said "a few bumps in the road is likely for a new device and new software".

Last edited by The-eBook-Reader; 10-23-2009 at 07:30 PM. Reason: fairness
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Old 10-22-2009, 09:57 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by The-eBook-Reader View Post

1. B&N's book prices are considerably higher than Amazon's.
2. The Lending feature is seriously flawed; they will have to impose a 1 or 2 lending limit or people will just lend the book over and over again.
You raise some very good points, but a couple of other things to consider:

1. B & N would seem to have a lot more leverage over publishers because of their large retail chain. What would preclude publishers from simply refusing to sell ebooks to Amazon? They could not do that with B & N because publishers rely on B & N to get their paper products to market.

2. The Lending feature is innovative. Even if it is limited to a 1 or 2, isn't that better than anything that is currently out there?

I agree that much remains to be seen, but I am excited at the possibilities here.
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Old 10-22-2009, 10:03 AM   #3
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In an ideal world, electronics manufacturers would be electronics manufacturers, publishers would be publishers and retailers would be retailers. Ereader-Wars show us that some companies want to be all three. It's like they sell us a car, then tell us where we must buy gas, where we can park and block many roads we want to travel. I find the whole fiasco faintly depressing. Neil
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Old 10-22-2009, 10:10 AM   #4
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1. Amazon's prices may be lower than B&N's prices today, but that may well change. The failure of this argument is that nearly everyone's prices are higher than Amazon's which, by your reasoning, would mean that all ebook devices other than the Kindle should be avoided. OTOH, Kindle prices are currently low but should Amazon get a monopoly poistion, who knows what price Amazon will charge. Plus, personally, I much prefer to buy from B&N than Amazon and, in fact, never buy from Amazon.

2. How is it flawed? Because you can't do it with a Kindle? Or because it has a time-limit like a public library? Even a limited lending capability is a plus considering that you can't lend DRMed ebooks purchased elsewhere.

3. There are several problems here. First, why should B&N give you free access to the internet? Just because you want it? Second, I am perfectly happy not to have internet access on my ebook device -- that's what I have a computer for. Third, since B&N is paying the bill, why shouldn't the primary purpose be to access its store? I don't own a Kindle but I don't suspect that the Kindle is a great Internet browsing device. Besides, because it is Android based, someone could develop a browser for those who really want to browse the Internet in such small screen space.

4. Yes formats are limited but it covers the primary ones for book reading. This is a book reading device, not a replacement for a computer.

5. If you noted, B&N cut a deal with Adobe so its eReader DRM will be available to other vendors as part of the Adobe package and B&N will support both its own ePub DRM and the Adobe version, as well as non DRM ePub. That's a lot more ePub support than the Kindle.

6. Lack of folder support is a problem. One point for you.

7. Supposedly you get 10 days of battery life on the Nook and 14 days on the Kindle with wireless turned off. In exchange, you can self-replace the battery in the Nook but not in the Kindle. I'll take less battery life in exchange for being able to replace it myself. (Plus you get expansion capability in the Nook.)

8. Probably not the case as the Nook will support more flavors of ePub. But then isn't locking in what Sony and Amazon try to do?

9. That's a personal preference. Some people do not like any margins, wanting the entire screen taken up with text. Some don't want extra space between paragraphs. We each have our own preferences. I don't find the formatting a problem.

10. Every company has to start somewhere. The fact that something is a second or third generation device doesn't make it better than a first-generation device. Consider the problems Sony has had with its touch screen readers and is the Kindle 2 a better device with nonreplaceable battery and no expansion slot than the first generation? If you follow your own advice, you would never buy a device because there is always a new generation coming soon.

Last edited by rhadin; 10-22-2009 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 10-22-2009, 10:13 AM   #5
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[QUOTE=3. Free Wi-Fi without a browser is about as useful as free internet on a clock. And you can only access B&N's overpriced store with it.
4. Very limited format support, just 3.
5. The supposedly open ePub isn't really open; it's just another new DRM that won't work with other ePub supporting devices.
6. From the videos the menu system looks pretty basic, and there's no folders support.
7. The LCD screen will no doubt affect battery life greatly.
8. Users will likely be locked-in to B&N's store for ebooks.
9. From the videos, book formatting doesn't look promising.
10. This is the first generation ereader from a company that has zero experience with ebook readers, and there are likely to be many problems and faults.[/QUOTE]

3. They have actually announced a pretty innovative feature that uses the WIFI. When you are in a Barnes & Noble store you are going to be able to browse through full books. Having WIFI access for home use will also be handy. Not everyone has good coverage under the AT&T network.

4. The limited format support happens to include the format that is widely believed to be the new standard for ebook distribution. Sony, Irex, Plastic Logic and Barnes & Noble will all use ePub and there was an Adobe announcement about releasing support for both DRM formats for all device manufacturers.

5. It is a DRM solution and readers would be better off without DRM but Adobe did announce that both DRM formats would be supported under their SDK.

6. Folder support would be great but I don't see why you need a complicated menu system if the purpose of the device is to allow you to easily purchase and read books.

7. The LCD will undoubtedly have some effect on battery life but since the main purpose of the device is reading the LCD will be off most of the time.

8. Formatting could be good or bad and this will most likely vary from book to book just like every other device.

10. They bought some experience when they bought fictionwise. Barnes & Noble themselves were also involved with earlier reader devices. From the hardware design standpoint I am sure that the design is as good as the company they used when outsourcing that part of the process.
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Old 10-22-2009, 10:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The-eBook-Reader View Post
Main stream media is jumping on the nook bandwagon big time, but they are neglecting to mention the facts about nook. Before you decide to buy a nook, you should consider this:

1. B&N's book prices are considerably higher than Amazon's.
2. The Lending feature is seriously flawed; they will have to impose a 1 or 2 lending limit or people will just lend the book over and over again.
3. Free Wi-Fi without a browser is about as useful as free internet on a clock. And you can only access B&N's overpriced store with it.
4. Very limited format support, just 3.
5. The supposedly open ePub isn't really open; it's just another new DRM that won't work with other ePub supporting devices.
6. From the videos the menu system looks pretty basic, and there's no folders support.
7. The LCD screen will no doubt affect battery life greatly.
8. Users will likely be locked-in to B&N's store for ebooks.
9. From the videos, book formatting doesn't look promising.
10. This is the first generation ereader from a company that has zero experience with ebook readers, and there are likely to be many problems and faults.
1. Because it supports ePub & eReader, you can buy books other than from B&N so you are not locked in for DRMed eBooks.
2. The lending feature seems silly to me.
3. The wifi is to buy books from B&N.
4. Use Calibre to convert to ePub and you'll be all set. Remember, the Kindle is limited as well.
5. That is not nice and all it's going ot do is muddy the waters big time.
6. No folders or collections. This is silly.
7. Agreed
8. Very incorrect. Should be removed See #1
9. They are most likely showing eReader format and as we know, most eReader eBooks are poorly formatted.
10. This is not fact based and has no reason to be in this list. Should be removed.
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Old 10-22-2009, 10:21 AM   #7
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8. Probably not the case as the Nook will support more flavors of ePub. But then isn't locking in what Sony and Amazon try to do?
If Sony was trying to lock you in, they'd have stuck to BBeB (LRF/LRX) and not gone wth ePub. Also changing their eBookstore to ePub is also going to be a plus for Sony not locking you in. It's Amazon that is locking you in and not Sony.
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Old 10-22-2009, 10:59 AM   #8
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One thing I seem to be reading again and again and again is how battery life will be affected greatly by the LCD. People want 3 weeks between charging and anything less is a dealbreaker. I have a hard time understanding this. Do these people not have access to an electrical outlet anywhere? Do they never sleep? Do they wander the land on foot, reading as they go? And if so, how are they using a computer to visit forums to tell us that 10 days (or even 5 or 6) on a charge is why the nook should be avoided?

As far as I'm concerned, as long as it lasts 2-3 days on a charge, it doesn't matter to me how much longer it'll go. It's about as important to me as the box it came in.
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Old 10-22-2009, 11:06 AM   #9
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1. B & N would seem to have a lot more leverage over publishers because of their large retail chain. What would preclude publishers from simply refusing to sell ebooks to Amazon? They could not do that with B & N because publishers rely on B & N to get their paper products to market.
Amazon is the bigger bookseller, not B&N.
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Old 10-22-2009, 11:36 AM   #10
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Amazon is the bigger bookseller, not B&N.
Amazon claims to offer over 350,000 e-book titles. B&N claims to offer a million.

Personally, I've never counted the number of books in either store; but there you have it, for what it's worth.

Last edited by WT Sharpe; 10-22-2009 at 11:43 AM. Reason: Update info and add links.
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Old 10-22-2009, 11:38 AM   #11
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Once all the confusion is settled someone ought to start a "Nook Myths and Partial Truths" thread like they did in the Kindle forum to cut through all the misinformation out there. Bad information will circulate for a long time after it has been shown to be wrong.

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Old 10-22-2009, 11:44 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by WT Sharpe View Post
Amazon claims to offer over 350,000 e-book titles. B&N claims to offer 750,000.

Personally, I've never counted the number of books in either store; but there you have it, for what it's worth.
Probably both figures are inflated with multiple versions of public domain works.
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Old 10-22-2009, 12:52 PM   #13
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1. I agree, but I doubt prices are going to come down to the levels they ought to anyway.
2. Probably, but I guess its better than not being able to
3. Important point being missed is that Wi-Fi only works in B&N stores. Outside the store you would use the AT&T connection (or so the B&N website leads me to believe). I find it a bit odd that B&N would prevent you from using say your own Wi-Fi connection. Might be handy in areas where 3G coverage isn't good, maybe you could hook up the device to ur home Wi-Fi network and buy books.
4. Very limited is an understatement. It doesn't even support plain txt formats. Which means painful formatting of txt files from Gutenberg.
5. I'm confused here. ePub seems pretty open to me
6. Possibly, but i'm sure its better than e-ink based menu systems. Lack of folders shouldn't necessarily be a deal breaker
7. The LCD screen will no doubt affect battery life greatly. Hmm...this remains to be seen. I'd say ought to at least last a week with moderate usage.
8.Too early to say mate, but I'm sure that's B&N's end game. That's why I prefer Sony, Aztak's EZReader, Cybook's Opus etc, coz these companies don't live to sell books
9. Again a bit premature
10. First generation it may be, but I'm sure it's not that big a risk for the consumer. Its probably more risky for B&N coz they have their reputation riding on it
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Old 10-22-2009, 01:04 PM   #14
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Probably both figures are inflated with multiple versions of public domain works.
I don't doubt that. The 750,000 number (prior to my editing the post) is what B&N was claiming less than a month ago. Now they claim they have over 1,000,000 e-book titles available. Has their inventory grown that much in that short a time? It's possible, I suppose, although it sounds like a bit of a stretch.
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Old 10-22-2009, 01:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WT Sharpe View Post
Amazon claims to offer over 350,000 e-book titles. B&N claims to offer a million.

Personally, I've never counted the number of books in either store; but there you have it, for what it's worth.
I was talking about the actual total book sales. Amazon sells more books than B&N.

And besides, the number of ebooks on the shelf is irrelevant when negotiating with publishers; sales figures are what's important.

Also, ebook sales are just a drop in the bucket (~1% in August).
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