Probably-Unnecessary PSA About Barnes and Noble/Nook eBooks








Don’t buy them if you plan on reading them on a PC or Mac! Or, like, probably at all.

Though this isn’t mentioned anywhere public on B&N’s website, they killed their desktop app and their read-in-browser function a while back, and no longer permit any form of downloading of ebooks off of mobile apps or Nook devices.

Also, “nook” is a dirty word now, so there’s that.

And since they’re in their death spiral, this also means that the app might disappear and take your books with you when they go under. So if you’ve bought books from them in the past and don’t have access in another format, now might be the time to think about how you’re gonna read those books when B&N suddenly closes the way Borders did.

It would be terribly wrong for me to advise B&N/Nook users to do a search on how to extract those files from your phone or ereader and convert them to an open format so you can continue to use them, since by the terms of your agreement with B&N you don’t own those files, you’re just temporarily licensed to use them. I’ll leave you to ponder the potential legal consequences of that, and the likelihood that anyone would enforce them.

(side note: aren’t they the ones who did a s&r in all their ebook files, converting the word “kindle” to “nook”? with very strange consequences for novels in which people started fires? which is fucking ridiculous but still not as bad as the times Amazon repossessed people’s copies of 1984 when there turned out to be a licensing problem with them, and also censored LGBT content on their website?)

And here is the reason why, ladies gents and everyone inbetween, why I still prefer physical books over ebooks.


Under no circumstances should you use a program like, say, Calibre to manage your ereader’s content, including downloading to and from the reader and converting between standard formats. That would be wrong.

I’m so glad we have all of these well-informed people letting us know how to avoid doing the wrong thing about this issue. Thanks!

This is very much like the guy who invented the home video recorder, and was very careful to note in all the advertisements that it is VERY WRONG to record copies of video cassettes, even though this machine could do that. And everyone went out and bought one, confident that they now knew the purposes for which they definitely should not use the device.

It would also be so very wrong to get Calibre’s addon that strips DRM so you can take even protected content and make it into whatever file type you want.

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