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Ebook Rant

Sep - 7 - 2011
Nicole C. Engard

My husband and I chose the Nook color as our ebook reader last year. Let me start by saying that we love them! I do however have two policy issues to complain about (and I’m pretty sure that these are not Nook or Barnes & Noble specific).

This weekend my husband and I went on vacation. We took nothing but our Nooks with us and spent the weekend on the beach, by the pool, and in the air conditioning reading. My husband turned me on to Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series. He had started reading it before we go our Nooks so he read the first 6 books in print and I decided to buy them on the Nook. I finished the first book in our first day away and logged in to my account immediately to buy the next book. Instead of the book downloading right away like it had with other purchases in the past it gave me a series of errors about how an error occurred. I spent the rest of the day nagging my husband to talk to me since I didn’t have anything to read ;)

When I logged in to my email (on the Nook) later that day I found an email from B&N telling me that because I was out of the country I couldn’t purchase books. I understand copyright laws, but it’s a US bought Nook, it’s a US address on my US credit card and I was on vacation!! Isn’t technology smart enough to know that the device was bought in the US and that my address is in the US and that my credit card payments are sent to the US? So I had to send an email to a cousin back home and ask him to buy me some books so I had more to read on vacation.

The lesson here is that you need to fill up your ebook reader before you leave the country!

Next rant …

As I mentioned, my husband read the first 6 books in print, but after that he bought the ebooks for the rest of the series. Silly us assumed that we could use the ‘Lend Me’ feature on our Nook for him to lend me the rest of the series after I bought the first 6 … well we were wrong. For some reason the Dresden books do not have the ‘Lend Me’ feature available. Now, I’m at a loss. What do I do? Do I pay double (buy another copy for the household) because of the limitations? Do I borrow his Nook while I’m reading those books? Do I go to the library and see if I can borrow the ebook there? Why should I have to make these choices? We have a shared bank account and as such I have already paid for these books, but I can’t read them! This is a complaint I’ve had about computer games in the past as well … why is it that with all the technology we have we can’t come up with a way to share technology in a household?

How are other families handling situations like this? What do you do if your entire family likes a specific author or series?

4 Responses so far.

  1. k8 says:

    If you are using the same account, you should not have to lend each other the book. You can use the same book/purchase on multiple devises as long as they are on the same account.

  2. Rebecca says:

    You can have 5 devices on the same account. I share my BN account with my mother and my husband. My mom doesn’t even live in the same state but we like the same books, this way we don’t have to mess with the lend me feature. So as long as you don’t mind another person seeing what you purchase on your Nook I would recommend just sharing the same account as your husband.

  3. Nicole says:

    Wow! How is it that I didn’t know this! I guess from now on we’ll use the same account. Thanks for the tips!!

  4. Batarang says:

    It’s these types of limitations (transferability and ease of use, among others) which lead me to the conclusion that ebooks need to be cheaper (ie. $4.99 instead of $14.99).

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