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Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

Though the Kindle is cheaper, is it strange I want to support Barnes & Noble?

Asked by Aesthetic_Mess (7858 points ) February 29th, 2012

I love books. I love Barnes & Noble. I love being there.
I am thinking about buying a Nook because B & N makes it, and I would be giving them my business instead of Amazon. I saw what happened to Borders, and I most definitely do not want to happen to Barnes & Noble.
The Kindle is $20 cheaper than the Nook, and there are a lot of books you can get cheaper than on the Nook, but although the Kindle is better for my wallet, I want to support B & N because I don’t want them to go out of business.
Is that stupid?
Would it be unwise to go with the Nook just because I like the store it’s from?

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31 Answers

JilltheTooth's avatar

As I understand it and I’m sure someone will rush to correct me if I’m wrong the cheaper version of the Kindle is so because it supports advertising. As far as wanting to support Barnes and Noble, there’s nothing wrong with that. One thing that I like about my Nook which was a gift, so this wasn’t a factor in choice is the fact that I can walk into a Barnes and Noble and have someone help me with the tech aspects, as I’m a bit of an idiot when it comes to that stuff. Find a tech savvy friend (I have my sister) and you can transfer mountains of free titles to your Nook, through Project Gutenberg, and the like.
The products Nook and Kindle are themselves pretty equal, if you want to get a Nook, then by all means get a Nook! After all is said and done it will even out, price wise.

keobooks's avatar

I worked for Borders (full and part time) from 1999 – 2007. I could tell they were in trouble back in 2004. They didn’t go under just because of Amazon. They adopted some really bad business practices and policies. I could totally go on for pages about what happened but I won’t right now.

Barnes and Noble has a much better business model than Borders did. My friends who migrated from Borders to B&N say that things are much less shoddy. I could go on about this too but I won’t.

Basically, I don’t think nook is going to make or break B&N. If you really wanted to help them out, you could buy a kindle (which Amazon makes at a loss, btw) and then side load the Kindle with a nook reader (perfectly legal and fairly easy.) Then only buy nook books instead of amazon books.

blueiiznh's avatar

It is not silly at all. Customer loyalty is what helps keep stores like B&N there.
I am a paper person too but am drawn a bit more to lately as the product morphs into a tablet.

the big Borders in Downtown Boston is becomming a Walgreens now. So sad.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Nope. It is not stupid. The world needs more customer loyalty. You like the store. You enjoy going there. Feel free to support it.
My family has one of each so we are in a good position to compare. The Nook works great for reading books. You pick it up, turn it on and you read. You download a book from the library and it is there. Easy.
The Kindle Fire seems like Amazon is in my shorts all the time. If I try to download a free app it still wants access to an account with a valid credit card. Most of the apps try to grab my contacts list. Why? It just seems to snoop more. To me it feel like it is a personal keylogger talking to Amazon. If it had a GPS it would likely be tracking me too.
The Nook is like reading a book.
Enjoy.
I’m waiting for the Kindle Fire ire.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I like @keobooks answer: “If you really wanted to help them out, you could buy a kindle (which Amazon makes at a loss, btw) and then side load the Kindle with a nook reader (perfectly legal and fairly easy.) Then only buy nook books instead of amazon books.”
Great Idea!

sinscriven's avatar

Nothing wrong with supporting B&N, and the nook is a good device, if you’re loyal to the brand then seems like a good idea for you.

But Borders’ fate was much more of it’s own doing than Amazon’s. They were incompetently managed, putting more efforts into their brick and mortar stores and completely ignoring the online side. The even completely outsourced their online store to Amazon themselves a while back. B&N is not that stupid, thankfully.

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t think it’s strange. If you feel loyalty, you feel loyalty.

Personally, Amazon has always treated me well. I got my wife a Kindle Fire this Christmas and I think it is the best present she ever received. She carries it with her everywhere. She got some kind of special cover for it. And she if finally taking her lists digital. Wherever she goes, she sheds lists like hair off a cat. But now, not so much. Amazing!

zensky's avatar

I lurve the answers above and will only say that I agree about the customer loyalty. It’s a bit like buying groceries locally, etcetera. If you like spending time at B and N, then every little bit helps to keep these places open. I’ll pay a little more sometimes, or drive out of my way when it comes to matters of customer loyalty. Borders closed by dint of their lack of a good business model, but this isn’t to say Barnes isn’t far behind and shall too, one day, fall along the wayside. The Nook may very well make the difference and tip things in its favour.

DeanV's avatar

I’m in a similar positon, but the other way around. Amazon has always been good to me, and as a Prime subscriber the benifits you get with the Kindle are pretty great.

So I guess I understand, I’m just the other way around.

Bellatrix's avatar

I love this discussion too. I am toying with the purchase of an e-book reader and have been torn between the two. Great information here! Thanks people.

Jeruba's avatar

Oh! @blueiiznh, that is painful news.

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

I am decided then. I will buy a Nook!
@DeanV What do you mean? You’re a loyal customer to Amazon and you want to buy a Nook?
@zensky That’s what I was thinking as well. Though Borders closed because of poor management, B & N could close due to similar factors as well as people turning to Amazon or other booksellers.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Aesthetic_Mess : Are you going for the e-ink reader or the tablet? My Nook is of the e-ink variety, the battery life is great and because it’s not backlit I don’t get a headache. I think you’ll really like having an ereader, whatever you get.

Get the Nook. Get the Nook. Get the Nook….......

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

The e-ink reader. I do enough reading on a computer screen already. I don’t want to keep reading constantly on a backlit.

DeanV's avatar

@Aesthetic_Mess More that I have a Kindle and love it.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I have the original Nook, with a little touchpad at the bottom, but KatawaGrey has the newer Nook Touch, which is lighter weight and has even more capacity and a better battery life. You’ll enjoy it! My sister fills up those teeny tiny chips with books and sends them to her. It’s freaky how many books you can load onto those things.

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t think it’s at all strange to put some other criterion ahead of cheapness.

Buttonstc's avatar

People vote with their pocketbooks all the time so getting a Nook makes perfect sense.

Trillian's avatar

The Kindle Fire is much more than an e-reader, so it has the advantage of internet access and a pretty good browser as well as the access to games, apps, movies and tv shows and of course books. I bought one for each of my kids and scored LOTS of great-mom points in so doing. The Fire is backlit however, so I personally wouldn’t want to read a book on it. Kind of defeats the purpose of the pearl ink technology, and would be too hard on my eyes.
If you were thinking of the $79 basic Kindle, it’s a pretty good device and you can just ignore the stupid ads. They’re not intrusive like stuff on FB. Or you can pay $30 more and get the same thing without the ads. Either way they have great features like being able to read without glare on the screen and changeable font size.
I don’t know what B&N policy is regarding their devices after sale or how reliable they are.
You may want to consider downloading kindle for PC or Mac onto whatever type of rig you have so you can take advantage of all the fantastic free kindle titles available. The app is free as well, so you are out nothing and any titles you really like you can then sideload to your nook.
Then again, Amazon customer support is tops. I don’t know where B&N ranks.

keobooks's avatar

Just wanted to mention that when you check out e-books at your library, most of the newer ones will be in kindle form available from Overdrive Media, a service that most public libraries are switching to for audio and ebooks. The older ones will most likely be EPUBs. Nook is more friendly about alternate formats from the start. With Kindles, you’ll have to side load.

I’ve read countless books on my kindle and I’ve never paid for one. I only check out books at the library.

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

@keobooks Can I ask how book-borrowing works? Do you have a set date to return them? Can you still be fined
@JilltheTooth I’m going to go with Nook Simple Touch. Will buy it in three weeks I think.

keobooks's avatar

@Aesthetic_Mess – If your library has Overdrive you have a set return date of the maximum checkout time. After that date, the ebook will delete itself. You can also set the date to any earlier time you want. Sometimes I set a very short time if I am unsure that I actually want to read the book. If I don’t read it by 3 days, I didn’t want to read it anyway.

There are no fines. Libraries that don’t yet have Overdrive may have different systems, but Overdrive is the same everywhere. Most likely, your library will have it. It’s almost universal unless you live in a really rinky dink town.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Aesthetic_Mess : I think you will enjoy having an ereader. Mine has not replaced my library, it has enhanced it. I also find the contrast of background to print to be soothing. They also have the feature that you can adjust font size. That has helped me when I’m tired and need just a slightly bigger print for comfort. I guess you’ll figure all this out, I’m just happy to see another convert to the format, as I find it so convenient, especially when traveling.

wundayatta's avatar

I was wondering why you had to go to the library to borrow e-books. That seems to kind of defeat the purpose. It’s much less efficient.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@wundayatta : If you don’t have wi-fi you might have to go on site. How is that less efficient? The physical books have to get to you someway also. Also, if you are at the library, you can browse the paper books, see what’s new, read the blurbs, then decide. You can do that from your ereader or computer also, but for me it’s easier to to just see what’s there. Also, if you don’t need to renew, which some libraries are set up to do from your computer for your ereader, you save a trip to the library to return the book, as it simply disappears from your line-up when the lending time is finished.

lonelydragon's avatar

Not at all. There’s something to be said for customer loyalty. Also, B & N has a great selection of ebooks, especially their classics section.

Jeruba's avatar

@keobooks, what does “side load” mean? I’ve never heard the term before.

keobooks's avatar

@Jeruba – There are apps that you can’t directly download and install on the Fire. But you can download them on your Mac or PC and then “side load” them through a program that will send it to your Kindle when it’s connected to your main computer. I probably don’t have the explanation perfect, but that’s the gist of it.

Jeruba's avatar

Thanks. I had no idea how these things work. I didn’t even know you had to connect the reader to your computer. “Side load” made me picture something like a CD or a USB connector going in the side of it.

It’ll probably be at least another century before I’m ready for this transition.

wundayatta's avatar

@JilltheTooth It’s more efficient if I don’t have to make a trip to the library. The library is fifteen to twenty minutes away. You have to prepare to go. You have to use gasoline or wait for the subway and walk (which takes even longer). You have to pay for parking if you take the car. You have to deal with librarians who often seem to be in bad moods—at least at our library.

So if you go to a library, you take at least an hour out of your day in order to get the book on your kindle. If I could borrow it from home, it would take probably five minutes to do the same thing. It’s also lighter on the planet.

The only reason, these days, to go to the library, it seems to me, is to talk to the librarian and to have the librarian show you stuff and teach you stuff. Librarians should be information acquisition, management, and analytical method consultants. Our only interactions with librarians should be related to those things—when we can’t handle those tasks ourselves.

There is one other task for librarians that involve customers and that is networking. Librarians should bring together readers and authors. Other than that, there is no need for customers to actually enter a library, these days, except of course for materials that are available only on paper. But those are rapidly disappearing as everything is being digitized.

My whole collection is digital, so I’m already to that point. People see me for consultations. I don’t even provide them with materials. I teach them how to find and access the materials on their own. I show they where to start and teach them how to think about it.

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

So, I got a Nook! It’s supposed to arrive tomorrow!

I know that it supports ePub format, so do you guys know of any sites besides B&N where I could get ePub books?

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