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Barnes & Noble Edu Still Sabotaging Students With its Digital Textbook Platform, Yuzu

B&N Education may have promised in March that it was replacing Yuzu, its abortion of a digital textbook platform, but from what students are saying that simply has not happened.

The new school year started about a month ago, here in North America, and over the past six weeks numerous college students have shown up in the comment section of this blog to to share the news that Yuzu is still being promoted by B&N Edu, and to extol Yuzu’s virtues.

The short version is the same as the last two fall semesters: it ain’t got none.


Students are reporting that it doesn’t work at all. "Yuzu is still having problems. Yuzu webreader will not load," one wrote. Another agreed: "I purchased the digital version of my graduate college textbook and I haven’t being able to open YUZU reader. I have dues on assignments and need to move on," before adding the consensus opinion that "This platform sucks. Don’t buy digital versions from B&N."

Other students noted that even when it does run it is still missing basic features. "Search feature doesn’t tell anyone where the word is inside the page. This makes you read the entire page until you find the word in the paragraphs."

And another student complained that even though he was using the app on an expensive Surface tablet, he still couldn’t open a textbook without being online. "So far…so bad. Definitely not a fan of YUZU. I’m on a surface so unless I have WiFi I can not access any books. So, unless I’m on campus, I’m pretty much SOL on accessing my book."

Basically Yuzu is still as nonfunctional as when it launched over two years ago.

So after three years of development, and after being inflicted upon three crops of college students, Yuzu still sucks.

And yet B&N Edu is still recommending Yuzu to students. For example, you can find it on the digital textbook page for the George Mason University bookstore.

You can find the same page on just about every college bookstore run by B&N, and that makes this pundit which possibility is more likely:

Do you think B&N EDU actively hates college students, and is trying to sabotage them, or are they simply indifferent to the fact that they are providing an inferior service which simply does not work as promised?

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Frustrated Student October 3, 2016 um 7:04 pm

Thank you for covering this continuing fiasco.

I commented on one of the other articles to that effect, but seriously, I’m glad to see you’re still raising the alarm.

Nate Hoffelder October 3, 2016 um 7:33 pm


It is frustrating that no one else is covering this story.

Frustrated Student October 3, 2016 um 9:32 pm

Maybe get it reblogged on Techdirt?

Seems like an appropriate site.

Nate Hoffelder October 3, 2016 um 9:42 pm

It’s too much of a niche story for them, I think.

But I did poke Consumerist.

Frustrated Student October 15, 2016 um 1:40 pm

Did Consumerist respond to the poke, then?

Nate Hoffelder October 15, 2016 um 3:41 pm


I can’t figure out why.

How to Buy E-Textbooks 101 | Mindfeeder LLC July 26, 2017 um 4:19 pm

[…] BNED also includes Yuzu, a digital “learning platform” with apps for iOS and Android to let students read and annotate e-textbooks. It’s affiliated with specific schools and promises up to 80 percent off e-texts. Just be aware: it is not universally loved. […]

Tasha Garrett September 2, 2020 um 10:56 pm

Wow. Its 2020 and I’m still having issues with Yuzo!! Something should be done about this!!!

Nate Hoffelder September 3, 2020 um 11:22 am

What the hell

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