UK Nook Owners Now Discarding Their “Useless” eReaders

UK Nook Owners Now Discarding Their "Useless" eReaders Barnes & Noble e-Reading Hardware When B&N announced that it was closing its Nook UK Store and handing its customers off to Sainsbury's, I predicted that some Nook owners would find themselves with worthless hardware which neither B&N nor Sainsbury's would support, and sadly, that has come to pass.

While some former Nook customers are only just getting the notice that their ebooks are transferring or are still waiting for ebooks to show up on the Sainsbury's site, others are having trouble with their Nook.

"I purchased a book and transferred it to my Nook but it cannot read the format so my wife and I will dispose of our Nooks and not get involved with Barnes & Noble ever again," one wrote in the comment section of this blog. Another expressed similar frustration, writing "We have two Nooks which are now completely useless. I have downloaded a book to one of the Nooks from Sainsburys but it says it is an unreadable format. I have decided to dispose of the Nooks and never get involved with Barnes & Noble ever again."
And a third Nook owner is reporting an even more serious problem: "I need to reregister my Nook. At the moment I cannot do so, which means I cannot access the 300+ books I have on there. It has all been transferred to Sainsbury’s but they can’t or won’t help me."

And there are other similar complaints on that post, and elsewhere on the web.

UK Nook Owners Now Discarding Their "Useless" eReaders Barnes & Noble e-Reading Hardware B&N is going to have to do something to help the third owner, but it sounds like most of the problems experienced by Nook owners in the UK are the usual problems with transferring DRMed ebooks from a computer to an ereader. It's really hard to be sure without having one of the uncooperative ereaders in my hand, but that is what this sounds like.

In some ways that is good news because a local public library should be able to help the Nook owners with the technical hurdles of downloading an ebook to their PC and transferring it to the Nook (mine would be able to help, anyway).

On the other hand, some people don't have the skills or wherewithal to overcome this issue, in which case they are better off switching to reading in an app on their smartphone or tablet, where Sainsbury's will be able to automatically deliver their ebooks to them.

They could also consider getting a Kindle or Kobo ereader and relying on those ereaders' automatic delivery feature, but that would involve simply abandoning their Nook library.

This, folks, is the perfect example of why Amazon came up with the idea of free ebook delivery when it launched the Kindle in 2007, and why both Kobo and Barnes & Noble copied the idea.

Thanks to DRM, the process of reading an ebook was needlessly complicated, and so Amazon took steps to make sure users never noticed the DRM. Now that these Nook owners have been discarded by B&N, we are seeing just how much that effort matters to the average user.

Is it any wonder that the Kindle is the most successful ebook platform? Honestly, who else can you trust in this industry?

images by indi.caDanni Alexandria

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

17 Comments

  1. jzc19 May, 2016

    In theory, this should produce a flood of Nooks onto eBay; further reducing demand for new Nooks from US buyers. It’s hard to understand why B&N did this, other than stupidity

    Reply
  2. Mark20 May, 2016

    Nate I don’t understand where your last comment is going. The only thing wrong with the B&N books is that B&N is exiting the business. Up to that time, the B&N experience was just as seamless as Amazon. If Amazon exited the Kindle business, the same problems would afflict your Amazon library.

    Reply
    1. DavidW21 May, 2016

      What are you talking about? Nook has removed download options from their website, outsourced the division to India, is closing down the UK store, and is widely known for having terrible customer service. How can you possibly say that there is only one thing wrong with the Nook platform!?

      Reply
      1. Mark26 May, 2016

        Well, ok, maybe you have a point. But Nate’s comments on B&N would be equally valid if Amazon exited their ebook business. Extolling Amazon for not having those problems is equivalent to extolling Amazon for staying in business.

        Reply
        1. Nate Hoffelder26 May, 2016

          Except the thing is, B&N hasn’t decided to exit the ebook business. What they’ve done is make a series of decisions that are toxic to the health of their ebook business.

          B&N isn’t getting out; they’re slowly poisoning the Nook platform. That makes Amazon look great in comparison.

          Reply
  3. […] The Digital Reader reports that “UK Nook Owners Are Now Discarding Their “Useless” eReaders.” […]

    Reply
  4. M.21 May, 2016

    And that’s why Apprentice Alf is a saint…

    Reply
  5. Rolf22 May, 2016

    There is way to bypass registion requirement if you want to still use it as ebook reader, and has non-drm’d ebooks. (Gonna love no drm on ebooks).

    http://raviudeshi.com/2011/11/nook-touch-skip-registration

    Reply
  6. T23 May, 2016

    I’m still very confused about this and the FAQ is as clear as mud. If I only use the device for side loading non-DRM books then why can’t I continue to do so? When 31st may rolls around will the device suddenly become bricked? I have no wish to transfer to sainsburys but I’ve had a lot of use out of the device with DRM free purchases or public domain books. The FAQ seems to suggest that unless you sign-in before 31st may and remain signed-in then you can no longer use your device. But whyyyyy?

    Reply
    1. T1 June, 2016

      It’s now june 1st and i can still use my simple touch to read what’s on there and side-load books. Though i did have a worrying moment whereby opening a book produced an error message and it wouldn’t open, i immediately tried again and it successfully opened so who knows if it’s related. I think the FAQ is just terribly written because looking at it now it just seems to suggest that as long as you sign-in at least once before may 31st then you can put the device offline afterward and use it for side-loading, the part where it says you have to remain signed-in makes no sense. Other than that i would’ve attempted to bypass the registration after wiping it but i read somewhere that that can severely affect battery life since it’s constantly trying to authenticate or something.

      Reply
  7. Glyn Cooper5 July, 2016

    how do you dispose these nook tablets?
    you cant dump them in the dustbin.
    It appears that B&N have a lot to answer for
    I now wish I had never bought one.

    Reply
  8. Stephen Spencer17 July, 2016

    You can still use them, side-load old books and new purchases via Sainsbury’s using Adobe Digital Editions, even totally reformat and use the device unregistered (as above) while still being able to read purchased books, without having to resort to any rooting or drm-hackery. There is absolutely no reason to discard your hardware!

    Reply
    1. Michael14 October, 2016

      Sainsbury’s have now stopped their sale of ebooks. Nooks are now dead.

      Reply
      1. Stephen Spencer14 October, 2016

        No, that is not the case, they are moving our libraries (once again) over to Kobo (a significantly more established service), where you will be able to continue side-loading as you did with Sainsbury’s. In their last email they promised to give everyone instructions on how to do so by 25th October 2016.

        Reply
  9. […] turns out that B&N could have saved everyone the aggravation, because Sainsbury's just got out of ebooks and handed its customers to […]

    Reply
  10. Liz4 January, 2017

    I’ve installed the app and put my ebooks onto my iPad – giving up on e-readers – at least if I buy a physical book I own it.

    Reply

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