Nook vs. Kindle. Should the status of B&N be a consideration?

I’m thinking about buying an e reader and have been comparing the various Nook and Kindle models. I’m leaning towards a Nook Glowlight 3, but it is a close decision compared to the Kindle Oasis. One thing I have been thinking about is whether or not the possibility of Barnes & Noble possibly going out of business in the near future should be a consideration. The latest news is that they once again lost money this last year, and that it was more than expected. If B&N goes out of business in the next year or two, would that essentially make all my e book purchases from the B&N Nook store useless? I realize I’m asking for you all to speculate, none of us know for sure what would happen in such a scenario or if B&N is even close to having to call it quits. That being said, please speculate away.

Get all your books on your computer if you haven’t already.
Calibre can convert ebooks to a Kindle compatible format.
However, if you like the Nook better, I see no reason not to get it. It’s not going to stop working if B&N tanks and epub is the most common format for ebooks.

Yeah, Calibre, epub, and store a backup somewhere other than your ereader.

As for which ereader, they are very similar when it comes to hardware, all use the same screen – the one standout is Kobo – popular in much of the rest of the world but not so well known in the USA due to the market dominance of Amazon and the #2 B&N.

I switched to Kobo a couple years ago when my Nook died and heartily recommend it; the hardware is just like the others but the software is much more powerful – one example, font size isn’t just large, medium, or small, font size is anything you want it to be – 8, 9, 10, 11 … 19, 20, 21, your choice, and you can even install your own fonts if you want.

Unless it has been changed since I last tried a couple years ago, that is true only if the book does not have DRM implemented on it. With a DRM-locked book you’re SOL.

Shhhh. We’re not supposed to talk about the solution.

It’s not like there are any guarantees Amazon will be around in five years either.

My speculation is that the servers, even if B&N mostly closes down, will be up longer than the actual tablet will last. In 3 years, it’ll need a new battery. Replace the battery, and in 5 years it’ll probably be so inferior to the tablets that you want to upgrade, or you might crack the screen or wear out the USB port or any number of other failures.

I wouldn’t get the Kindle. Unfortunately they cannot handle Epubs. As for B&N, I only needed to contact them once (when I was setting up my Nook in the first place).

It’s worse out of the US. Apparently in the US you can get Kindle format books at the library, but in Canada you can only get PDFs and Epubs, usually the latter. I have an old Nook and will not switch to Kindle unless I can borrow books from the library on it. (I can convert most Kindle files to Epub though, with Calibre. You cannot use the most recent version of Kindle software though. I legally buy books from Amazon, then convert to Epub, then read them on my Nook. I’ve only had two books that I could not convert.)

In Canada you cannot buy ebooks from Barnes & Noble. Irrelevant in my case, since I can buy ebooks from Amazon and other retailers and read them on my Nook.

My Nook is so old. I replaced the battery once, and one of the page forward buttons is broken (I’ve had to tape it back in place). If B&N goes out of business and I can’t get a “fresh” Nook down the road, I’ll go with Kobo. That can also handle Epubs.

Well, I just mow fired up Calibre and tried to translate a DRM-locked azw3 file to epub and Calibre refused, so the solution isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. mobi might be more vulnerable but I’m not taking the trouble to find out.

The program that DEletes DRM from azw3, etc. formats is an addon to Calibre and is not installed by default. Note: the one I’m aware of doesn’t handle kfx DRM for PC/Mac from Amazon but you can get azw3/whatever onto your Kindle and use that with the add on.

I have no idea why the big bugaboo about Epub and Kindles. Just get Calibre, it’s useful for a lot of things anyway. And you don’t always have to use the default reader app. E.g., on my Nook I use FBReader on it. I could use the Kindle app on it if I wanted to!

I did worry about the status of B&N when I bought my Nooks. That was 5 years ago.

Have you considered buying a tablet, and then loading apps that allow you to read Kindle and Nook?

My tablet is set up to handle Kindle, Google books, and Overdrive (the software my public library uses). It would be easy to get the B&N app, but I’ve never bothered.

Sure, a company that’s worth 1000 times more is just as likely to fail.

Disclaimer: I didn’t read the other responses.

To the OP: You’re WAY overthinking this. Just buy a kindle and be done with it. I’m on my fourth one and the price keeps coming down.

There are issues such as screen readability, battery life and weight that make a dedicated ereader a better choice for many.

I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. Reading an e-ink e-reader is like reading a book. In bright sun, it’s just fine, and then when it gets dark, they all have lights built in. The battery lasts for weeks, not days.

I have a Nook and I mostly use it to check out books from the library. But, to be honest, I think checking out books with a Kindle is easier – I think you can have it automatically sent to your e-reader, whereas with the Nook, I have to go to my activated computer, download it from the library, hope that Adobe Digital Editions is able to check it out successfully, then manually drag it to the Nook.

So, at this point, I’d probably just go with the Kindle, as much as I hate that they use a proprietary format (and are basically killing off retail, but that’s a rant for another thread).

It is true, though, that you have more sources for books with the Nook – you can buy e-books from Google as well as indie sources that work with the Nook. So, in the very unlikely event that Amazon went belly up, your Nook would actually be more forward-looking.

If a company isn’t turning a profit on a regular basis then its large size is a liability.

I’m not saying Amazon is doomed. But the company is essentially running along the edge of a cliff. The policy of plowing so much of its resources into expansion has made the company huge. But it also means it has very little reserves in case it ever has a bad year. Amazon is the corporate equivalent of a person who lives paycheck to paycheck with nothing in his savings account.

Ah. I was unaware there was a DRM-breaker available as an add-on; I was using the bog-standard Calibre so I shall look into it. I love Calibre even without using the translator for its file manager aspects. If you load books into a Kindle directly from Amazon, you wind up with a jumble of files. Calibre creates subdirectories with the author’s name and stows the files within that. It quiets the OCD part of me and makes it a lot easier to track down a file that’s giving you trouble.

This. I’ve even bought up a couple of their 4th-gen models on the cheap for replacements for when the current one fails. Because it has no light, you need ambient light to read it, same as a paper book but, for the same reason, a charge lasts at least a week of heavy reading. Besides the price, the other models have features I don’t need for my e-reader.

You may find this recent thread useful, even though it’s not specifically about the status of B&N: Best e-Reader Kindle v Kobo v Nook

IMHO, Amazon has a better selection of ebooks than B&N, which makes it a better source even if B&N sticks around indefinitely.

Note: The cheapest, most basic e-readers do not have lights built in. You have to have an external light source, just like with a printed book.

I assume the OP knows this, since the models he mentioned do have lights; but I don’t want anyone to be misled. I remember in the early days of ereaders, some users complained that they weren’t lit, even though at that point there was no real reason to assume they would be except “electronic devices are supposed to light up.”

When I said 1000 times larger, I was talking about market cap. That’s not any kind of a liability, that’s simply the market’s judgment on what the business is worth. $500 billion vs $500 million.

I’m aware of Amazon’s business plan, which has always been to plough a lot of its income back into expansion. That doesn’t make it reasonable to imply that the chances that Amazon (booming revenues, booming stock price) does not exist in its current form in a few years is remotely similar to the teetering B&N.

How old is your Nook?? My old one is more than four years old and I never had to do that. With Overdrive, I was able to download directly onto/from my Nook.