If you have the nook hd or hd+, you can install the kindle app on it from the Google play store. Unfortunately this work around doesn't work for any of the e-ink nooks. There are other work arounds if you're willing to strip the DRM (copy protection) from your kindle books, but you're entering a legal grey area if you do so.
It is an unfortunate reality that Amazon has the lion's share of the ebook business, and uses that to "push around" indie authors into being Amazon exclusive if they want better promotioms or incentives to be on their store.
Your nook will work with any ebooks with Adobe DRM. Stores that sell them include the Sony ebookstore, Google Play ebooks, Kobo, and Diesel ebooks. You can also take a look at Smashwords, which has DRM free ebooks, and allows you to download ebooks in a variety of formats.
You don't have to buy a kindle. Download Amazon's free Kindle for PC app instead. Then you can read Kindle books just fine on your pc or laptop.
Does Amazon apply DRM to small-time authored titles? If not, you can readily convert most Amazon titles that are not DRM-encumbered using the (free) Calibre program. It usually does a fine job converting to epub format. You could then sideload the epub files to your NST.
If the ebooks are DRM-encumbered, your an unfortunate example of a user attempting to use the license you purchased to read the ebook in a legitimate and lawful manner, but are prevented from doing so by DRM.
Unfortunately, just buying a Kindle won't be any guarantee that other titles might NOT be available in Amazon's format in the future. It's a silly situation.
You could always explore stripping DRM, although the legality of doing so varies by locality. There are plugins for Calibre that will help you do this. Once you've gained control over your ebooks, you can use them on any device you choose.
Or you can get a tablet that lets you use the apps for a lot of the different book places. Like Kindle, B&N, Kobo, Sony and such. That way you can get your books from where you want.
In your situation, you should probably just join the dark side and buy a Kindle Paperwhite.
I have had both, and the Paperwhite is a superior device (compared to the NOOK Glowlight) in many ways. The big downside to Kindles is that they don't support ePub documents. For someone like me who gets all his books from public libraries, that doesn't matter, but if you have a collection of purchased ePub books you may want to just keep them on your current NOOK and use a Kindle for new acquisitions.
Hope that helps.
"Which makes them both exactly the same amount out of reach to the non-tech-savvy person. I could root my NST fairly easily, but it's not a process I would ever want to talk my mother through, and she'd never agree to do it out of fear she'd mess something up."
Fair enough. When the Nook Color was running firmware earlier than 1.4.3 and did not support landscape reading mode, I made rooting SD cards for a couple of forum users. I mailed the cards out, and then we got on the phone and walked through the process of rooting, accessing the Play store, installing Aldiko, and accessing their BN titles through Aldiko so the devices would function in landscape mode.
Both of the folks I offered that assistance to had rheumatoid arthritis and at least one was a grandma. Neither was terribly tech-savvy, or they would have gone to XDA and made their own cards.
One of them accidentally unrooted (and made unbootable) their NC. Over the phone and without using a screensharing program we got her NC fixed again. We actually needed to re-burn the card with a newer nooter variant using the links on my blog, nookworks.blogspot.com
"Also - you say the kindle app didn't look very good, so why go through the bother to root to use an app that works sub-optimally when you could save your time and just buy a kindle?"
I went through the bother of rooting so that
- I could retain access to my magazine subscriptions from a single vendor, rather than having a hop from one to another
- I could continue using the BN e-ink device, whose user interface I prefer to the Kindle
- I could install my own launcher
- I could install Newsrob, a caching RSS spider onto my NSTG for reading newspapers when away from wireless
- I could install fbreader and use fbsync and sync sideloaded reading across devices
- I could change the layout of my device so the library content was all dropped onto the part I can access from a computer, and enlarge that space to 1 megabyte
- I could test creating a symbolic link from internal memory to an sdcard, so that my BN content and my sideloads both wind up on the sdcard, giving my device 8 gig of usable storage (curatable with Calibre as well.)
I wanted an appstore, for things I'd forgotten to sideload immediately after rooting. the Amazon appstore made a lot of sense since you can just install it.
Once I had the appstore installing the Kindle app was trivial, and it was not why I rooted to begin with. It was just simple to do once I'd rooted, and I wanted to look at the Kindle app on the NSTG, which is a bit better than the same on the NST was. Most of my amazon content is converted to epub using Calibre, but again if there's something I want access to when I don't have Calibre available, it's nice to have even if it's not great.
The original poster in this thread seems pretty sharp and may well have limited access to e-ink devices at reasonable prices. The Nook touch may well be something that wouldn't be trivial to swap out for a Kindle in Latin America.
Thus, my suggestions in this context mention both the Kindle app and the Calibre approach as viable without incurring the cost of replacing the device, and up-front mentioned that the Kindle app might not be great.
I reemphasized the possibility of using the Kindle app because it really does distinguish the NST/G from the Kindle e-ink devices in terms of being able to work with both vendors' files. I'll fire up the Kindle app and shoot video at some point so people can get a feel for how good or bad it is.
I apologize. I "Me Too" this subject matter in error and cannot seem to find a way to undo this. New to Board workings.