iphone_text_200.jpgWelcome to Unbound, a blog that celebrates the place where literature and technology intersect.

There’s no denying it: eBooks are revolutionizing the way we read—and fast. Literature is moving from our shelves to our screens, and with it comes easy, instant access to eBooks, anytime, anywhere.

Computers and handheld devices are swiftly becoming the mediums of choice for many bibliophiles who no longer find it feasible to store and carry all of their physical books. And as a new generation turns to computer screens and PDAs for their information, digital learning is playing an increasingly crucial role in our schools.

The revolution is here, and it’s digital.

At Unbound, we’ll delve into the many aspects of eBooks and e-reading with regular posts by folks in the know. We’ll keep you up to date with Barnes & Noble’s digital efforts, too.


But this blog isn’t really about us. It’s about reading, how it’s changing, and how people are coping with it. Yes, we know that not everyone has—or even wants to—climb aboard the digital express. We welcome your feedback, stories, and opinions as we explore the new frontier of digital reading together.


by shaniac on ‎10-20-2009 02:29 PM

I really hope you guys are serious about having a conversation about this eReading thing...  I've had a taste of it with Amazon/iPod, but dealing with Amazon sucks, and my iPod got stolen :smileysad:  I do get the impression that you all have read about the problems people have had with the Kindle and improved upon them.  I look forward to sharing my experiences with the Nook with you, as soon as I have one.  You wouldn't happen to have any idea when that would be, would you? :smileyhappy:


by EricaJoy on ‎10-20-2009 02:29 PM

Great post Kristine! I have some quick questions about the Nook and B&N's eBook effort as a whole:


1) On the Nooks comparison page, I saw that there is eBook support for multiple non-Nook devices, including iPod, iPhone, and Blackberry. I also noted that there was no mention of Android based devices there. Since the Nook is an Android based device itself, is there a possiblity of an Android application on the horizon?


2) How will the Nook handle audiobooks and in what format?


3) Suppose I want to get a Nook for a family member. How would I go about doing this for them? Is there a mechanism for purchasing Nook Books (I like the way that sounds) for others?


4) Will B&N brick and mortar stores have Nooks available for purchase or at least hands on testing?


Ultimately, I am very excited about this device. I am a Kindle owner and was a vocal supporter and early adopter of the device (http://www.ericabaker.com/2008/06/13/i-wasnt-always-like-this/) but have become jaded by the limitations of the device and the platform. I look forward to comparing the Nook to the Kindle on my own as I expect I'll be blown away.

by shaunvis on ‎10-20-2009 02:58 PM

The Nook looks pretty cool so far. I love that it is pretty open and supports all the major formats out there. I do have a few qusestions though.


1. Audiobooks? Does that mean Audible support?


2. Navigation.  Are there folders?  Or could I theoretically be using my finger to scroll through 17,500 books?


3.  Formats supported.  Does it include DRM'd epub, Adobe Digital Editions, etc.? Is there any conversion software to say convert a .doc to a supported format?



by clobbered on ‎10-20-2009 03:21 PM

To ErikaJoy  - when I put in my pre-order it asked me whether the nook was for me or whether it was intended as a gift. The implication was that if you say it is for you it arrived linked to your B&N account, otherwise it is not so the recipient can link it to their account.

by clobbered on ‎10-20-2009 03:25 PM

@shaunvis - the tech specs say it supports PDF, so you can easily convert WORD to that. I note the rumour is that it will ship late November/early December, so I guess y'all need to start writing your letters to Santa.


Bizzarely DRM ePUB doesn't seem to be mentioned everywhere, but the implication is that it is used (since it is compatible with the iPhone app and so on).

by thegriff on ‎10-20-2009 05:23 PM

The problem with eAnything is DRM.  You guys have got to get your DRM act together. Here's the issue...


You own Fictionwise which bought the eReader technology that you use in the B&N ereader and presumably in the Nook.  I have a few books in eReader format and would expect them to be readable on the Nook.  My guess is they won't be as the B&N reader does NOT support eReader.com purchase.  You own the company!


There is great concern about what happens to one's books when a company stops supporting their chosen DRM method.  You have a prime opportunity to show people that past purchases will live on but to this point the that opportunity has been wasted.


The minute I hear that I'll be able to transfer my 20 eReader purchased books to my Nook I'll pre-order, but not a second before.

by clobbered on ‎10-20-2009 05:50 PM

Coverage of the nook launch here:




Good news: if you are in a B&N store, you will be able to browse through the entire books there, just as with a physical book.


Bad news: the lend-to-a-friend feature is up to the publisher, and so will not be universally the case.


If that's the case, I really hope B&N can come up with a better solution to the husband-and-wife problem than Amazon did...

by matts1050 on ‎10-20-2009 08:00 PM

Today I just decided to buy an ereader. I ordered a Kindle and was looking through the Amazon blogs. Someone mentioned that a new reader was launching today. Well here I am. I was dissappointed that the Kindle did not have native PDF support. The converter made quite a mess of my tech manuals. So again, here I am! I preordered a Nook today. Wish they would hurry up and release it! Come on B&N-Let me have my Nook now!

by matts1050 on ‎10-20-2009 08:07 PM

Almost forgot-I did cancel my Kindle order.

by pmprn02000 on ‎10-20-2009 08:31 PM

I am curios about the Nook, having not ordered a Kindle because of indecision.  Can anyone tell me about the availability of textbooks for the Nook.  Am also interested in the audio capabilities, as I support a gentleman that has handicaps and is unable to read.

by odpete79 on ‎10-20-2009 08:53 PM

I have heard about the new ebook release from Barnes and Noble and from what I've seen it is a very good option to Amazon Kindle ebooks.  I have a Sony PRS-505 and enjoy it very much.  I'm looking to get an ebook reader with wireless connection and Sony will release the PRS-900 that has this feature and I'm tring to decide which new generation ereader to purchase.


I do have a few questions about the Nook.  Will the Nook will be able use the books I've purchased from Sony's Ebook Store?  Will the Nook have folders to sort the books and magazine?


Any input would be helpful so I can make an informed purchase.

by KitKatt on ‎10-20-2009 09:15 PM

I have been a huge fan of the Sony eReader and would like a comparison done between the New Nook and the New PRS 600 and 900  if possible? Also, will all the books I have purchased for my eReader be transferable to the Nook? I have been able to purchase several of my college texts for my eReader will they also be available for the Nook? I am glad the technology is moving forward, Thanks.

by OutOfFocus on ‎10-20-2009 10:23 PM

All these years as a B&N member, and NO discounts, no recognition, no concrete acknowledgement of loyalty as we move into the electronic age -- only those tied to the traditional paper page continue to get the member discount (apparently).  Could it be that Nook has completely overlooked all of us B&N members?  One would think that at least the marketing types would want to tap into our numbers.  Time to reflect on the upcoming membership renewal.  Stay tuned. 

by Kevin on ‎10-20-2009 10:52 PM

Good questions, @EricaJoy. Here's some answsers:


1) We haven't announced anything in tems of an Android app, but we hear you (and the others who are asking similar questions). Stay tuned.


2) nook can play MP3s, including audiobooks.


3) You can gift a nook, but you can't gift an eBook at this time. We expect that to be available in 2010.


4) nook will be available for test drives in any B&N store at the end of November.

by Kevin on ‎10-20-2009 10:56 PM

There are a couple of questions here about file formats, and Fictionwise.


nook obviously supports all eBooks, eMagazines and eNewspapers sold at Barnes & Noble.com. You can also load many other files, including MP3s and PDFs, as well as ePub and PDB files. (That includes Fictionwise content.)

You can also load images for wallpaper and screensavers using the JPG, GIF, PNG, or BMP formats.