Barnes and Noble Closes International Nook Store

If I’m being completely honest, I’m surprised it took them this long to make this decision. The Nook business has not been profitable almost from the get-go. That isn’t to say that the devices are lower quality than the Kindle or other eReaders, because I don’t believe that to be the case.

The Nook store will remain in the US and UK for the time being, but I can foresee a future in which the Nook store no longer exists at all. Let me throw around some knowledge for a second. Did you know that Barnes and Noble fairly recently spun off its Nook business? And did you know that Barnes and Noble’s print (brick and mortar stores) is actually profitable today? No, well it is.

I understand why the UK and US Nook stores will remain operational, because they serve a purpose even if they don’t make money. They keep Amazon somewhat at bay. Somewhat. But if I owned a Nook device in the US or UK and heard about this announcement, I’d go ahead and get myself a Kindle. Because I think we all know what’s coming.

What do you think of Barnes and Noble closing its international Nook store? Have you ever read on a Nook device?

On this day in 2014 I published Why I Think NaNo Anything is Dumb.


Changing Times for eBooks

When you think of reading eBooks, which retailers do you think of? For me it comes down to three or four retailers. Amazon. Apple. Google. Barnes and Noble. I know there’s Kobo too, but they don’t have any kind of traction here in the US. ¬†Barnes and Noble’s Nook is a nice experience. I’ve played on several devices before. But let’s face it, the entire future of the Nook is a giant question mark. Then comes Apple, which may or may not have colluded with major publishers to increase eBook prices. That leaves us with Google and Amazon.

I have an Android device and I’ve never once read a book on it. But I imagine Play Books is right up there with Apple and Amazon as far as its user experience. And now they’re trying to make it even better. Google and Amazon have both recently changed the fonts of their eBooks. Both were changed after extensive research into a variety of factors that affected one’s ability to read on their devices. I sometimes download books on to my Kindle, but I haven’t actually read on it in quite some time.

I applaud both companies for trying to make it easier to read on their devices, but I have to be completely honest here. I have one of the very first Kindle models, which leads me to believe that it would already be a bit more difficult to read on my device than on some of the newer models like the Paperwhite or the Voyage. And I’ve never had any issue with the font. It isn’t too small to start. It isn’t difficult to read. And I’ve read so much about the big gaps and spaces between words and letters in books because there hasn’t been any hyphenation before the new font, but I’ve never come across anything that looked out of order or weird. So props to both companies for improving the user experiences of their eBook readers, but I can’t say I’ve ever felt a new font was necessary.

The name of Amazon’s new font is Bookerly. The name of Google’s new font is Literata.

What about you? Have you ever been reading on your Kindle or Android device and just wanted a better, more aesthetic font for your reading?

President Obama Announces eBook Program for Low-Income Children

I read about this a few days ago and knew I’d have to write about it here. Ya’ll know how the Big Five publishing companies hardly ever seem to be on the same page about anything? Well they’re all on board for this.

Here’s what’s happening. Publishers (Big Five included) are giving away $250 million worth of free eBooks through an app developed by the New York Public Library to young, low-income readers. Of course, it’s a little unfortunate that it’s eBooks and not printed books because we all know that these low-income households may not have internet access or an appropriate device to read these eBooks on.

Which is why the White House is also running a program through dozens of cities and counties across the country to get every student a library card. One of the goals of all of this, besides getting these children reading, is to get them into their neighborhood libraries. Because if they don’t have internet access or an eReader, then libraries can become that reading haven for them.

What do you think about the White House and major publishers working together on a program that can put a lot of eBooks into the hands of many children who otherwise wouldn’t have access to them?

On this day in 2014 I published Saturday Selects: The Beauty of Country Music.


Coloring Books Top Amazon’s Bestseller List

Coloring books for adults.

I’ve read plenty about these over the last few weeks and I still have no idea why this is happening. The two that are selling like crazy are Secret Garden and¬†Enchanted Forest. Both of which are illustrated by Johanna Basford.

I just read an article about these books that said because of eReaders people no longer try to hide what they’re reading, so they’re more comfortable just buying whatever they feel like buying. And also that coloring is relaxing and the person gets to just chill out.

But really, is reading such a complex task that it doesn’t meet that same criteria? Sure there are plenty of titles that really make you think about everything going on, but it’s not like every book one reads is overly difficult to comprehend. So I am not buying into this whole mellowing out/eReader argument. But I have nothing better to offer. What I can say is that I won’t be buying any coloring books any time soon.

Tell me why you think this is happening. These books are outselling all other books at the moment.

On this day in 2014 I published Series or Standalone: How do you decide?.


Picking Your Reading Device

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I’m sure that most of you have already read my post from last month titled Print vs. E-book: Which side are you on? I say this because this is the most popular post of mine in terms of views, Likes, and comments. But if you haven’t read it, then please do. I made it clear in that post that I still prefer to read printed books over e-books. I’m also a realist. I realize that a growing number of people prefer to read on one of the many devices available today.

How do you decide which device to read on?

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I personally own a Kindle, no not the new Paperwhite that everyone seems to be raving about, it’s one of the first models. I still like it just fine. My Kindle was given to me as a gift so I didn’t have to compare any reading devices before making my choice. If I had I probably wouldn’t have picked any device at all because I like printed books so much more, but for the sake of this post let’s say that I had to choose one. I’ve played around with the Barnes and Noble Nook plenty of times in their stores. I’ve played with Kobo devices. Everyone has used an iPad. We read on our smartphones everyday, why not read a book on there too? Then there’s the trusty ol’ computer. The reading experience definitely varies from one device to another, but the experience is mostly a good one on each device.

So I ask you, how do you decide which device is best for reading?