Transferring eBooks to your eReader – one more time with feeling (and images).

Having just received our “office” Nook, I am still in geek-mode noting the differences between the two devices.

One of the things that struck me when I first connected the Nook to the computer was the directory structure is completely different from the Kindle’s structure.

The Kindle’s folder structure looks like this on my iMac:

Kindle Directory Structure

For me, as a long-time Kindle user, the directory structure is intuitive. The “audible” directory is where audio-books are, the “documents” directory is the main directory for eBooks, the “music” directory is where we can put music to listen to while we read and the “tts” directory is an obscure system folder with system specific items inside – a directory we dare not venture into or alter in anyway. It just doesn’t concern us. 😉

I won’t show you the contents of my “documents” folder, because from experience, it can look like chaos. Essentially, all you will see in this directory is files with a “.mobi” or “.azw” extension plus additional directories or files with the same name as the book. For example, I have Copycat Ripper on my Kindle right now; the files are “Copycat Ripper_LRACUISKEH2EJVXEA46GYQZDT6VSDHLB.azw” and the directory is “Copycat Ripper_LRACUISKEH2EJVXEA46GYQZDT6VSDHLB.sdr”. And while it’s a good idea to know what the different files are, the directory is created by the Kindle itself and so we have no real need to know what it is or what is in it.

The Nook directory structure on my iMac looks like this:

Nook Directory Structure

As you can see, this differs vastly from the Kindle. Looking at the names of the directories, I assumed that the one I should be concerned with is “MyFiles”. The following image is of the “MyFiles” directory structure:

The "MyFiles" directory on the Nook

This directory, too, is self-explanatory more so than the Kindle. It’s obvious where you place what. Chances are, you aren’t going to be copying Magazines or Newspapers yourself, but at least you can see that they are stored in a separate structure. I haven’t played around with the “Documents” on the Nook yet so I can’t speak to what documents can be copied and viewed. More on that later.

One obvious difference between the Nook and the Kindle displayed here with our directory structure images is that the Nook Simple Touch has no support for audio. Which makes sense since the physical device has no speakers or headphone jack. So for our Nook friends, audio books and “music to read by” are not options. Whether that is a deal-breaker for you or not is up to you. I have never listened to books on my Kindle because I am a visual person. Audiobooks hold little or no interest for me. Plus, the Kindle will “read to me” any book I currently have on it (and that has text-to-speech enabled, that is). And any music I want to listen to while reading I either play on the computer, phone, or just have the radio on. Based on the quality of the sound that comes out when the Kindle “reads to me”, I’d have to say that audiobooks and music are likely to sound fairly good; so long as you don’t expect stereo surround sound.

So, to wrap things up – when transferring books to your Kindle, you simply drag and drop the “.mobi” to your “documents” folder, disconnect the Kindle, and your eBook should be visible on your book list. When transferring to your Nook, you can drag your “.epub” file to either the top-level directory or to the MyFiles/Books directory and it will show up in your Library once you disconnect your Nook from the computer. If you tend to be as semi-OCD as I am, however, you might want to drag it to the MyFiles/Books directory for organization’s sake. 😉


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