Sunday, August 05, 2012

Phantom Feature

One of the reasons I choose the Nook for an e-reader was the ability to share my digital books with others. Prior to joining the ranks of digital readers I freely borrowed and lent books to friends and family. The Nook is the only digital reader I know of that at least allows you to share your digital books with other Nook owners. Granted, that’s a significantly smaller universe than printed books but I figured it was better than nothing.

Or was it?

Last month, Jessie Newburn asked if she could borrow Steve Jobs biography that I had just finished. Jessie is a member of that small Nook universe with her Nook Simple Touch. I was anxious to see how the Nook digital lending worked so I immediately agreed. We met at Lakeside Coffee with our Nooks to make the switch.

We couldn’t figure it out. Neither of us could find a command nor prompt to get my book to her Nook. Put another way, there'd be no Nookie for us.


Yesterday I dropped by the Nook support desk at the Barnes & Noble store in Ellicott City to see if I was doing something wrong. “The lending feature is not available for all books,” the tech told me. “The authors and publishers decide whether they want to make a book available to lend. With most of the more popular titles they haven’t allowed it.”

The digital book lending universe is now even smaller than I thought. 
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