Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Nook Friendless

Now that I have the damn thing a Nook e-reader, I thought I'd check out the lending feature and share e-books I buy with friends. Only turns out that none of my friends in the real world has a Nook, or any e-reader at all. I know my sister has an ancient Kindle, but I'm not sure it will let her borrow anything from me (disclaimer: I've yet to find any official info on if inter-device lending is even possible. I had to comb through B&N.com's Nook forums for half an hour before I found out how the LendMe thing works.)

In the process of investigating how all this lending stuff works, I came across Rick Broida's cnet article Four Matchmaking Services for e-book Borrowing and Lending that lists four online sites that evidently help match you up with another reader who wants to swap e-books and/or allow you to lend and borrow e-books for free (I've yet to personally check out the terms and conditions on any of the sites so if you do want to give them a test-drive be cautious and read up on their small print first.)

I'm also not sure how many Nook friends I really want to have. I haven't bought a lot of books for the e-reader, so my library is still pretty tiny. I'd be okay with lending books, but for my part I'm more inclined to pay for a book than borrow one (that way I own it and I can read it whenever I want.) And the whole "friend" aspect really annoys me; why do they have to use that word? That's the reason I've avoided LiveJournal and Facebook; I have a very different definition of the word friend. I think your e-reader "friends" can ask you to lend them books, too; what if I'm reading it and say no? Will they decide we're not friends anymore?

It makes my head hurt just to think about it. I also suspect one can easily go overboard with this sort of thing and become a slave to your e-reader lend-me-borrow-me whatever list. It's not something I want to do or check every day or even every week. If anything I'd like to build a small, private circle of like-minded book lovers who like to swap books a couple times a year. More like a private e-book club, minus the meetings.

I'm still learning, and I know 99% of you out there are way more knowledgeable on these things than me, so if you have a moment I'd appreciate some advice. Have any of you come up with a workable system to handle lending out your e-books? Do you have a small circle of e-reader friends, do you just lend to family, or have you tried one of these e-book matchmaker services? Also, how is the whole lending thing working out for you? Let me know in comments.

35 comments:

  1. I don't have an e-reader, but seeing that article of "matchmakers" reminded me of a news piece I saw recently about the site LendInk, which was a service that matched Kindle owners up to swap on a book-by-book basis (so you weren't locked into having particular "friends"). But recently some writers got it into their heads that their books were being "pirated" and the lending/borrowing system was "a breach of copyright," despite having enabled lending themselves through KDP. So they bombed the host with DMCA take-down notices and now it's offline. That was the first time I'd heard of a service like that, and it made me really ashamed of my peers. If I had a Kindle, I would definitely patronize that site once it came back.

    This comment is completely useless to you as a Nook owner, but I just felt like spreading the word. Maybe there's an equivalent site out there for the titles at B&N.

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    1. Actually I find this situation interesting, even if it is related to Kindle versus Nook. One way I've always hooked other people on great authors is to lend them a reading copy of one of my favorite titles ~ nine times out of ten if they love it, they'll go out and invest in lots of the author's other books. I'd like to do the same with e-books as there is really no difference to me whether it's a print or an electronic title. Up until I got the Nook I haven't been able to share e-books I really like. With all the talented indie authors out there who publish only for e-readers I'd like to be able to share them, too. I don't see how piracy could be construed from time-limited or reciprocal swaps of purchased e-titles; that doesn't even sound like bootlegging.

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  2. Have you considered the library? They have a lending program (at least in my neck of the woods they do) and it's a pretty easy set up. You do have to load the book to your pc, and then drag and drop the file to the nook. But then it's yours for two weeks I believe. And then you can avoid that whole, 'possibly losing friends over book lending' debacle.

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    1. E-books haven't made it into my library that I know of, but I will definitely check with the ladies at the front desk next time I visit. Thanks for the suggestion. :)

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  3. I'm not real fond of the Nook lending policies. Bottom line is it will only allow you to lend a book once. I had two friends who both wanted to read the same book but was only able to lend to one. After that the "Lend Me" option was unavailable for the book. Also I've found that the "Lend Me" option isn't available for every book I purchase. What I've read online indicates that whether or not a book can be lent and that if it is allowed can only be lent once were set by the publisher. Not sure whether or not that's true though. I haven't loaded any books other than those I purchased directly from B&N so I'm not sure whether or not the same rules apply if you load books from another source.

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    1. Only once? Yikes. That wasn't mentioned in the LendMe discussion I read in their forums. Seems a little silly, too.

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  4. Oh, the Lendink/so-called pirating fiasco was a mess. The authors behind that needs to get their act together and go back to pick their brains up from wherever they left them. They *APPROVED* the lending of their titles when they signed up with the publishing platforms. Sheesh.

    Anyway, Lynn, I'm a Nook user and although I do as much Nook reading as I do print reading, I'm happy to be a Nook friend. ;) Can't say I've ever done it... if I'm curious about a book, 9 times out of 10, I'll just buy it, but half the issue with the lending? I'm lazy and have never felt inclined to see how it works.


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    1. We might have to try it together once I've figured out what I want to do. If I'm going to mess up someone else's Nook, it should be yours. :)

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    2. I'm honored... O.O

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  5. I'm not going into the Lendink mess. It's just appalling.
    But that's one reason I decided to review. I get free books! I really do read a lot. I also have appalling eyesight, so the readers, with their ability to increase or decrease the print, spacing and even the font are godsends. I rarely read paper books these days, except for some research books.
    I also decided to take the review offer, because I think authors can add something to a review, and look at a book slightly differently. I never review books by friends, or put out by publishers I'm with, to keep me honest!

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    1. I'm using the big font a lot on the Nook, too -- I wear trifocals, and I can't see the punctuation anymore in 12 pt.

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  6. I have a Nook with the lending function. One thing about it is that they make it like lending a physical book: if you lend to a friend, you can't read the book at the same time. I have never had the opportunity to lend a book, but I definitely would if someone asked (my attempts at lending Hunger Games to my husband have failed :P). I'm a student so I don't have as much time to read fiction as I would like, but if I found another person with my taste in books, I would certainly love to be their "lending partner". I may try out one of those online services you mentioned in the future!

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    1. I think those services are smart, especially if they can match you with someone who has similar tastes in reading. I'd just be cautious in how much personal info you offer them; like anything on the net, you have to be careful when dealing with online entities, who may be representing themselves as someone they're not.

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  7. I don't lend out books the old-fashioned way, so I can't see how the whole lending e-books thing would work for me. (Not that I have an ereader yet anyway.) If I find a book I want a friend to read, I give it to them. If it's a book I don't want out of my sight, I either recommend it so they can get a copy themselves or I buy them a copy, too. Lending books is what a library is for, and they're better at it, so I'll leave it to them.

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    1. You've probably saved yourself a lot of headaches, B.

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  8. I have Kindle for the desktop, and found it really easy to loan ebooks from there.

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    1. I have the Nook and Adobe Digital reader things on my desktop, so I'll have to see if they offer the same. Thanks, Robin.

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  9. Anonymous9:25 AM

    I didn't even know that you could only lend nook 'lend me' books once only. I have only one friend who has a nook and I may ask her if she wants to trade sometimes...I am only on wi fi briefly in the barnes and noble stores and not on facebook, so I have not really explored the social parts of the nook.

    I think that after the initial rush of self publishing it is going to be a lot harder to find a book and establish as an author, especially if books can't be lent.

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    1. That's my thinking, Anon. Indie authors who enable their e-books to be lent out should see it as a form of promotion by reader.

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  10. I get most of my ebooks either as free galleys or through the library. I haven't looked into lending the few that I've purchased.

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    1. I want to build some keeper shelves on my Nook; I already have all of Marjorie Liu's Hunter Kiss series on it, which are probably the books I would lend out first, too. Then there's Sarah Addison Allen (who just made it through breast cancer treatment, so I'm particularly keen on getting her more readers), Barbara Samuel's self-pubbed titles, Rob Thurman's series . . . . I think I love too many series, ha.

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  11. I have a Sony ereader and the only borrowing I've done is via the library. I do like that feature very much. Other wise I just buy the book.

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    1. You make me wonder if we can manage lending across the borders (making note to check into that, too.)

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  12. I've been a kindle user for years, but I've never lent books out, other than among the family. We share one amazon account. Which makes for some interesting recommendations. LOL.

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    1. Ha. My crew doesn't read much. My daughter might once she starts college next week. Ack.

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  13. I have a Nook that kinda got put on the back burner when my Dad got me an iPad (much bigger screen). I've installed the Nook app and the Kindle app on my iPad though, so I can still read the few books I'd bought.(Come to think of it, all of the e-books I bought for my Nook were the last few of your StarDoc series.) My greatest source for books since going digital is my library. I know a couple of people have already recommended that route. I'd be really surprised if your local library system doesn't have something.

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    1. Thanks for investing in digital StarDoc. :)

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  14. I have a Nook too! I bought the Tablet and then rooted it, but as far as I know, the Lend feature still works with the reading app so if you want another guinea pig, let me know. I only have oh...maybe 15 titles though. I use it more as a replacement for my laptop when I travel. Though I read on it, I'm still pretty much a tactile girl at heart. And like you, I've turned lots of readers on to new authors because I could lend a paperback. I find it hard to see how that would work lending an eBook. But I'm willing to try.

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    1. I will put you down on the volunteer lab rat list. :) I don't have all that many titles yet, either -- only 21 so far.

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  15. Go to B&N.com. Click on the Nook tab, then pick the type of Nook you use. Then click the Support tab. Scroll down, and you'll find a PDF link to the Users manual. Download that, and you'll have a very good overview and how to on all things Nook.

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    1. I did download the quickie and the full version of their users manual. So far neither one has been very helpful, even with the search feature.

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  16. I know this is off-topic . . . Sari from MI

    Sari, if you're out there, this is just to let you know that I'm not going to post your comment due to the links and the names that you mentioned. It sounds like an unresolved legal situation that could turn very ugly, and for my own peace of mind (and to ward off flamers and trolls) I keep that kind of stuff off the blog.

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  17. Shelley8:43 PM

    Hey Lynn, I am a Kindle user and they also have a lending program but the formats are different. So no lending between Kindle and Nook. Also - many publishers are not part of the lending programs. I know you have said you like to own your books and there are sites that sell the ebook (aside from Amazon or B&N). OmniLit.com is one and there are others. Project Gutenberg offers about 36,000 out of copy right books - which can be very useful for college students.

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  18. Keita5:17 PM

    HeartMom over in CT recently got a Nook for her birthday. At first, she also complained a bit about all the features...but then came to a happy conclusion with it: She simply won't use those features. :P I doubt she would "lend" anyone her books anyway. No matter who it was. Her stuff is her stuff. :P

    My White Wolf got me a reader when I was over there in April. It's one of the less complicated Sony models. He wanted to get me the Kindle Fire (because apparently it's the best, and so that's what he wanted to get me :P) but I declined and gently persuaded him to get the Sony instead. It's got no unnecessary stuff, just decent battery life, ease of use, decent memory space and wifi so I can shop online. That's all an e-reader needs.

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  19. Try overdrive. They are a service that lends ebooks. Many colleges and universities use them and make the lending available to the public as well.

    As for limits on borrowing, that's due to publishers' demands. Even colleges who buy ebooks to lend to patrons are limited in the number of times they can be lent. After that, they must re-purchase the books. I think the assumption is that paper books eventually need to be replaced, so the same should apply to ebooks.

    Remember that multiple people can share an account though. On Kindle, I think it's six per account, but I'm not sure what it is for the Nook. It's obviously not something you'd want to do with just anyone, but it's great for husband/wife, parent/kids, etc. Everyone on the account gets to read the same books without buying more than one copy, and you can read them at the same time.

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