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Old 07-09-2010, 06:30 AM   #1
polbit
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Question Barnes and Noble eBook Store

Hi everyone, first post here. Quick history - I've had Sony PRS-505 since it came out, and have a ton of ebooks. Recently bought the iPad, thinking I will use it as a book reader, but the LCD screen just doesn't work for me. So, I'm on a mission to find another book reader.

I've almost decided on the Nook, since I can move all my books from Sony Reader store to it, but I have one dilemma - looks like Barnes and Noble ebook store is very light on any technical books. Amazon has tons of computer, engineering, or science texts, while BN will sometimes show just one or two in a given category. Is this a known shortcoming, and did BN say that they are working on it possibly, or are they focusing on fiction more?

Alternatively, I noticed that I can buy books from the new Borders store, and they have a good selection, however all the technical books I looked at are in PDF format. I'm assuming that will be pretty unusable on the Nook versus the epub format, right?



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Old 07-09-2010, 11:16 AM   #2
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I can't speak to B&N's offerings on technical subjects as I don't read them, but question for you - did you find the offerings in the Sony ebookstore limiting? If not, you can purchase new books from Sony and transfer them easily to the nook. to compare B&N to Amazon is kind of apples to oranges; however, if Sony's offerings met your needs, then by default the nook would be okay as Sony books can be read on the nook. As far as an official statement or announcement from B&N about future offerings in technical subjects (or any subject, for that matter), I haven't seen or heard anything.

As for your questions on viewing PDF files on the nook, there are several current discussion threads specifically on this topic. There's even one within 2 positions of this thread currently with PDF in the topic - it's probably helpful if you search the forums for prior discussions, as someone is unlikely to come to this particular thread and reiterate the same points.
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Old 07-09-2010, 12:12 PM   #3
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One of the reasons I wanted to switch from my Sony reader was the lack of technical books unfortunately. Nook is my #1 choice right now precisely because of the fact that I can transfer my entire Sony library to the Nook - go epub!

As far as PDF discussions, maybe I should've worded my question differently. I've read all the discussions about standard PDF documents, and understand the limitations of the Nook and other devices. However, since Borders is an ebook store, I am hoping that maybe the PDF versions they are selling are formated to better deal with smaller ebook reader screens that your typical PDF manual, etc. I guess the only way is to actually get something cheap from them and try it out.
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Old 07-09-2010, 06:31 PM   #4
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Technical books, reference books, textbooks, cookbooks, and children's books tend to be a poor fit for dedicated e-readers.

E-readers are designed to handle narrative material that consists of a stream of words that you read from the beginning to the end. They don't much like illustrations, charts, graphs, pictures, maps, font changes, footnotes, endnotes, indexes, page references, etc. Which isn't to say you can't do these things, but it won't be convenient.

To answer your direct question, I would expect that B&N will be focusing more on filling out its fiction inventory, which it can mainly do by working with its current suppliers, than in negotiating contracts with the various independent publishers that produce most of the technical publications. Just my guess.

But my suggestion would be to consider whether there's really much value to you to having technical books on a small-screen e-reader.
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Old 07-09-2010, 11:39 PM   #5
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Well, that's the problem though. I'm really tired of buying these 1,200 page books that are 5-6 inches thick and take way too much room, or reading books on a bright LCD screen at night. A 6" E Ink screen, if the book is formated properly, is definitely usable.

If the Kindle was in epub format, I think I would just get the new DX, but as it stands, I'm getting the Nook tomorrow. Tired of debating, just need to make a decision, and start reading!
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