B&N Launches Nook for Web

For the longest time the ebook market has been trending away from requiring ereader, and now it's going a step further and giving up on the need for readers to even install an app. Barnes & Noble has just announced Nook for Web, an HTML5 based reading app.

They're calling it "an innovative and free new browser experience" but it's only innovative so long as you ignore the fact that many other reading platforms had it already: Kobo, Amazon, Coursesmart, Ibis, and even more from a list that's so long I cannot even recall all the names on it.

But leaving the hype of the press release aside, this is good news for readers. We now have another option for getting and reading free ebooks with minimal work involved, and Barnes & Noble did steal a march on its competition by making it work on most of the major web browsers: Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, with the exception of mobile browsers. B&N says that support coming this fall for Internet-enabled tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices.

B&N is celebrating the launch by offering 6 titles which you can read and download for free:

  • Map of Bones by James Rollins
  • The Boxcar Children Summer Special by Gertrude Chandler Warner
  • Brave by Tennant Redbank
  • Perfect Island Getaways by Patricia Schultz
  • Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell
  • The Vow by Kim Carpenter

I've looked through my Nook library, and so far as I can tell all the titles have this new reading option enabled. Of course, I only have a handful of ebooks from B&N, so I might not be seeing ones that are restricted. Features are limited to just changing the font size; highlighting and other note-taking aren't enabled yet.

All my Nook ebooks show up with the following button:

The US ebook market is getting more and more competitive every day with the majors ebookstores trying to match each other feature for feature and service for service, but in spite of everything B&N and Kobo can do Amazon is still in the lead. I'd like to see someone match Amazon on their email conversion service, Kindle Cloud Storage, and other services I cannot do without.

Did you know I'm now providing tech support for 2 different relatives who own ereaders? I made them both get Kindles, because that way I can log in to their accounts and do the tech stuff without having to explain it. I like that, and it's something that cannot be done nearly as well on Nook or Kobo.


Nook for Web

About Nate Hoffelder (11482 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

3 Comments on B&N Launches Nook for Web

  1. Nice idea about the tech support. So far I’ve just played consultant for many friends and family looking for ereader recommendations.

  2. I have a large Nook library. A cursory look shows the majority of them have the Nook for Web option. So far all the ones which don’t have this message:

    “We’re working on making this title available on NOOK® for Web. In the meantime, read it on our free NOOK Reading Apps.”

    The ones which don’t seem pretty random as well, not all from certain publishers or anything I can tell. Probably just a matter of making the file ready.

  3. Great to see B&N finally joining Publification and Kobo in leading the HTML5 cloud-based reading experience. This is the first step, but further democratization is needed for authors and readers alike. It not just about abandoning hardware and software restrictions (like with digital music) – its about delivering a totally new reading experience.

    We allow our authors and readers to interact with each other in the book directly. Our Social eReader allows you to see who in the world is reading along with you and to interact with them. We believe this is the key to creating valuable discussions, community building, improved content. It is amazing to see UK Author Alan Moore interacting directly with his readers in his book “No Straight Lines” http://goo.gl/36ihm. There is no need for Amazon or Apple to serve as the middle man for the discussion, or to try to up-sell readers to movies, TVs or tablets through the proprietary reading platforms.

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