If you use the Barnes & Noble Nook as your go-to e-reader device, you are probably aware that it is a great gadget and has lots of fine features. In fact, the Nook used to be perhaps the biggest competitor to the Kindle. But you may also be aware that over the past few years the Nook has lost market share, and earlier this year the United Kingdom’s corporate division of Barnes & Noble officially announced that the Nook would be discontinued there. You may need to find a new e-reader or a new source for e-books, or both.
What Happened at Barnes & Noble?
Barnes & Noble – which once dominated the bookstore industry – has seen its profits plummet and the CEO of the company was recently replaced Back in March, Barnes & Noble also announced it would close the Nook App Store as well as Nook Video. Those company segments or product lines have been losing money for a long time, unable to keep up with more innovative competitors such as Google, Apple, and Amazon. Just as Blockbuster Video used to dominate the video marketplace in America and then essentially went bankrupt because of competition from the innovative Netflix company, Barnes & Noble is now in grave trouble. For the time being, Barnes & Noble in the USA is still selling e-books as well as digital magazines and newspapers, but the company is on shaky ground and its customers are losing confidence.
What to Do Next?
Perhaps the most effective and reliable way to ensure that you can continue to access your Barnes & Noble and Nook e-books is to save them to a separate file location, such as a computer hard drive. There are app tools that can help you do that. One of them is Calibre (calibre-ebook.com)which has earned many positive reviews. The free app acts as a digital library, and that’s where it excels – letting you manage your electronic book collection and convert books into various formats. After running the app you just create a folder, plug your e-reader into the computer, select your e-book reader, and click then complete the importing process.
Dealing with DRM
There may be titles that have special protection software built into them, called “DRM.” That is put there by companies that publish e-books in order to prevent people from engaging in piracy by coping material they haven’t paid for and distributing it to others. There are workarounds that can disable DRM, and you can find them on the Internet. But since doing so usually violates the terms you sign when you register with an e-book store, be aware that it may not be something you want to do.
Whether you are saving the content from your Nook account or are wanting to make sure you have a reliable back-up copy of any new content you download from other providers, it’s important to think outside the box. In this case, the box is your go-to computer, and outside the box refers to storage drives that can be kept separate from it. That way if your computer crashes and is forever lost, you’ll have saved copies somewhere else where they are still safe and sound.
Most major e-reader companies like Amazon for Kindle offer cloud storage services, which means that they let you keep copies of the content you buy from them on their own big computer server. That way if your computer stops working – or if you want to access your e-books while away from that computer and on a different device – you can log onto your account and find them in that cloud storage area. Cloud storage is one of the most popular ways to securely save a back-up version of digital material. You can also use cloud services provided by sites such as Dropbox, and many of these allow you to store your content free of charge, up to a certain amount of data. For larger storage they charge a nominal monthly fee.
Portable External Hard Drives
One of the best ways to store your electronic content is with a portable hard drive. If you aren’t familiar with external hard drives, they are typically a little larger than a smart phone, and they have ports for charging them and for connecting them via a USB cable to a computer. They are similar to the hard drives inside computers, except that you can unplug them and take them with you wherever you go. The Toshiba Canvio, which costs about $50, is one example, and it comes in memory capacities ranging from 500 gigabytes to three terabytes. You cannot run software like Windows or Word on them, of course, but you can use them as a really handy way to back up your files – including your e-books. A good way to use a portable drive is to designate it as your back-up library. That way, since you only use it for storing copies of e-books, it is easy to know where your portable library is when you need it.
Free-eBooks.net was the first in the world to offer innovative “stick libraries,” which are a fantastically convenient way to carry your entire e-book library with you wherever you go. These are flash drives or stick drives, which means they are small and highly portable storage drives. Also referred to by many people as “thumb drives,” they are the size of a thumb. You can carry them in your pocket, and still have room for all of your keys and coins. They connect to your computer or other device using a USB port. All you have to do is plug them in to access approximately 1,000 titles.