Thursday, May 19, 2011

To Nook or Not to Nook

To Nook or Not to Nook?

After Matt’s exciting post a couple of weeks ago about the newest, full-color, web-browsing e-reader from Barnes and Noble, I thought perhaps we should get one for the library. The philosophy guiding such acquisitions is that it can be useful for our community to have access to an array of equipment through the library so that we can experiment with different platforms and make better informed decisions about moving forward.

I nearly had myself convinced with that logic, but then I was exploring e-reading on the Nook, and doubt began to creep in. One question that arose was how much cross-platform access I can get to e-books that I purchase. I discovered that the iPad has apps for both Kindle and Nook, so I can read all of those ebooks on my iPad. Apparently you can hack into your Nook and add a Kindle reader at the risk of voiding your warranty--and assuming you’re the hack-into-your-own-devices kind of consumer.
Further, at this point, it doesn’t appear that you can read Nook books on your Kindle. (Sigh.)
In format wars the consumer doesn’t seem likely to be the winner.

Libraries are already struggling with different ebook formats and the varying rules that vendors apply to loaning out ebooks. Even as a personal user, it turns out your rights to loan ebooks are limited. Anu found a site that pairs up ebook owners with interested borrowers; we got excited about this for a moment--until we discovered that both Kindle and Nook limit you to a single loan of their ebooks. Yes, you can loan it out...but just this once.

Librarians have been actively reflecting on building ebook collections, and all the attendant issues. It’s not a simple case to settle. I’d love to have some reflections from members of this community--are we interested in checking out what Nook has to offer? To Nook or not to Nook?



Post a Comment