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REVIEW: Nook Simple Touch With GlowLight

The Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight™ (hereinafter the Nook GL) is the first e-ink reader with a built-in light since the Sony 700. The Sony was a great idea, poorly executed. Since then those of us who read in bed or in other places with low light have had to make do with clip-on lights, lights with built-in covers, or bright lamps that annoy the people around us. I’ve tried all of the above, in many variations. I read after The Husband has gone to sleep on a regular basis. I’ve always been a night-time reader, for as far back as I can remember (flashlight under the cover? check). Not having found a satisfactory e-ink solution, I usually read on my phone, but I don’t love it. So when the Nook GL was announced, I decided I had to have one. This decision was made easier by the fact that I left my beloved Sony PRS-T1 on an airplane, so I was without a 6″ e-ink reader for the first time in years. And despite having a 5″ phone screen and a tablet, I really missed the e-ink screen and the light weight of the Reader.

I have owned three generations of Sony readers starting with the 505 (and I still have a Daily Reader), a Kindle 2, and a Kindle DX. The one-click link to Amazon you get with the Kindle is wonderful and addictive, but I vastly preferred the Sony hardware. It had to be that good, to make up for the horribleness that is the Sony Reader bookstore. I’ve never owned a Nook, and until now, I never thought I would. After trying unsuccessfully to purchase a Nook GL in a store (I tried across three states!), I ordered one from the B&N website and received it in 3 business days, as advertised.

SPECIFICATIONS AND QUICK COMPARISON

It came in a sturdy paper box, all of which can be recycled. And there was a charger and USB cable, which I appreciated. The charger for my Nook Color started to fray within months, but this cord is put together differently and look sturdier. The connecter is a mini-USB, which makes it compatible with a lot of phone, camera, and other electronics chargers.

The device is light, apparently even lighter than the regular Simple Touch, at 7 ounces. By comparison:

Nook GL: 6.9 ounces

Nook Simple Touch: 7.5 ounces

Kindle Keyboard G3: 8.5 ounces

Kindle Touch wifi/3G: 7.5/7.8 ounces

Sony PRS-T1: 5.7 ounces

The Nook GL looks exactly like the non-GL version of the Simple Touch, except that the border is a slightly lighter gray. There is the same raised “n” below the screen on the bezel and “nook” above it.

There are two thin, raised lines on the right and left sides of the screen which can be pressed to turn the pages as an alternative to tapping the touch screen. They can be programmed so that you can choose whether the bottom two or top two page forward/back.  The power switch is at the center top on the back, and the micro-USB port is on the center bottom. There is a slot for a micro-SD card, which can expand the 1GB of available storage up to an extra 32GB, if you want to carry several libraries around with you (it comes with 2GB, but you can only access 1GB).

And that’s it. There’s no headphone jack because there’s no way to play music or audio files. There’s no text-to-speech function. It’s just a reader with wifi. Which, in some ways, I find really appealing. You can’t do anything with this device except read.

SCREEN QUALITY

Since the screen is the same pearl e-ink that is on all three ereaders now, I compared the screens in bright sunlight (click to enlarge):

To me, the Kindle screen has the most contrast, but I think that is as much a function of the type (which is darker and more pronounced) than the screens themselves. Engadget’s review reported that the contrast was slightly degraded from the Simple Touch. I can’t confirm that, but the GL seems slightly less contrast-y than the Kindle. But it was almost indistinguishable from the Sony to my eyes.

And in lower but still readable light (click to enlarge):

GLOW LIGHT

And finally, the whole reason for buying the device: What about the Glow Light? Short answer: I love it. Yes, you can see the little light beads at the top, especially when the light is turned up to the brightest level.

But at the levels I use (25% to 70%), the slight unevenness wasn’t a problem. With the lights off in bed, I use a low light setting. In dusk-type light, I use about a 50% setting. In both cases the light distribution is far superior to any lighted case or clip-on light I’ve used, and it’s definitely easier and more comfortable to hold. It’s a huge improvement and to me it’s worth the $40 premium over the Simple Touch.

INTERFACE AND BOOKSTORE

Even though I have had a Nook Color for almost two years, I never used the B&N bookstore and I rarely used the interface (I rooted the NC into a tablet as soon as I got it). The learning curve is very short, because there’s not much to learn. The bookstore is as easy to search and buy from as Amazon, although the discounts aren’t always as good and of course the KDP books aren’t available. The wifi works fairly well; I have trouble keeping a connection in one room of my house, but I can’t be sure that’s the Nook’s fault. It works fine everywhere else.

Unlike the Sony, the Nook doesn’t appear to import and sort using Calibre’s tags, but I quickly used the available “shelves” option to sort my books. I wish there were a way to access my dropbox Calibre folder directly from the device; I’m used to sideloading through Calibre, but for people who aren’t, the Nook is a little more work. On the other hand, though, you can put ePubs on it from a variety of stores, so readers can take advantage of non-Amazon sales and coupons.

I also subscribed to the New Yorker, and I’m surprised at how well it renders on the Nook GL. There are a lot of magazine subscriptions available and they are quite reasonable.

Finally, a trivial but deeply satisfying feature: in addition to all the faces of authors, the Nook has the option of “nature” screensavers. I vastly prefer these. Even in black and white, a photo of a waterfall is infinitely more soothing than having Emily Dickinson staring glumly at me.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I bought this device entirely for the front-lit screen, but I’m surprised at how much I like it in other ways. The rubberized coating is very comfortable to hold, and I’ve grown used to the square form factor. The bezel is a nice size for my hands and the page turning clicky things are comfortably located. The screen is quite responsive to touch, and the device is light. Overall, I like it almost as much as the Sony I lost.

I broke down and bought a case to protect the screen. The Nook cases are far bulkier than Kindle or Sony cases. It transforms this thin, light reader into a small hardback. But it’s still small enough to stick in my purse, and when I’m at home or reading it’s easy to pop out of the case.

I’ll be curious to see what Amazon’s front-lit Kindle looks like; I assume the technology will be slightly different since B&N has a patent pending for the GlowLight technology. If you don’t care about the light, there’s probably no reason to switch or upgrade what you have now. But if you find yourself reading in dim light a lot, or at night with the lights out, this innovation is very welcome.

Sunita has been reading romances since she ran out of Cherry Ames, Student Nurse and Chalet School books and graduated to Mary Stewart and Georgette Heyer. Other old favorites include Mary Burchell, Betty Neels, Elsie Lee, and Edith Layton. Among current writers, she reads and rereads Anne Stuart, Tamara Allen, Sarah Morgan, Marion Lennox, Josh Lanyon, and Susanna Kearsley. She blogs as VacuousMinx and tweets as @sunita_p.

46 Comments

  1. Estara
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 06:51:13

    Hopefully they’ll make a Sony who does similar things. Although strictly speaking I don’t need it, being single ^^. Increasing font size has usually helped me deal with dodgy light situations. In any case, great overview with lots of details!

  2. Keishon
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 08:07:53

    Thanks for the review Sunita as I’ve been curiously tempted to try one of these. I’ve ran through the gamut of these things: Kindle, Nook, Nook Color (rooted). I did enjoy reading on the Nook for while. Like you, I prefer Sony hardware despite their horrible software and that’s what I continue to use today and will upgrade if they come out with something better.

  3. Dabney
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 08:35:47

    Thanks for this. I just got and plan to return the Kindle Touch with lit cover. It doesn’t work at all well with Calibre, it’s super slow if you’ve got lots of books and I find the back button erratic. I will stick with my iPad and my Kindle Keyboard until the new Kindle comes out.

  4. readerdiane
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 09:58:17

    I have the Kindle 2 and have loved it. This Spring I bought an IPad 3. I love reading on it because the contrast is so great. I can read in bed in very low light. It is a little heavy but no more than a hard back book. I am still not ready to give up my Kindle but reading on the IPad is great-Kindle reader on the IPad.

  5. Dabney
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 10:01:46

    Sunita, among other obnoxious things, the Touch won’t work with Kindle Collections on Calibre. I bet the new one coming out this summer won’t either.

  6. Carrie
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 10:50:59

    I have a Kindle Fire and a K3 with keyboard. My husband has a rooted Nook Color, but he is planning to “unroot” it so we’ll have an ereader for epub books. I like my Fire just fine, and I can turn the backlighting down so it doesn’t hurt my eyes, but I still prefer reading on muy K3. I love the keyboard because I don’t like having to touch the screen to turn pages. It’s much simpler to keep my thumb on the button at the side of the K3. I don’t have to keep switching my hold to turn the pages. Plus I hate screens streaked with fingerprints. For those reason I think it’s great that the Nook GL has the option of turning pages without touching the screen. I won’t be in the market for a new ereader for a while, but I’m keeping my eye on the Nook Gl and the Kindle with built in light coming out later this year. I also love to read after my husband goes to sleep and he’d appreciate it if I could turn off the bedside lamp. ;-)

  7. Luce
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 12:12:38

    Having bought a nook Simple Touch last November, I really can’t rationalize getting the nST with Glowlight (despite the fact that I’m mostly a nighttime reader.) Maybe I’ll get one for my birthday (five months from now)?

    Even in black and white, a photo of a waterfall is infinitely more soothing than having Emily Dickinson staring glumly at me.

    Hahaha! This is so true!

  8. Sunita
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 12:14:39

    @Dabney: I haven’t seen the Kindle Touch in the wild, so I don’t have a good sense of how they compare. I find the shelves fairly easy to use, and I believe there is a way to get Calibre metadata onto the Nook GL, but I haven’t tried it yet myself. I don’t keep a lot of books on my ereading device, so I don’t run into the issues a lot of other people do.

    I do want to note that if you buy books from B&N and download them to the GL, Calibre will not see them when you plug in the device (it’s a B&N decision, not Calibre’s). So that’s a bit confusing.

    @readerdiane: I’ve read on both the Nook Color (rooted and unrooted) and a 10″ tablet (iPad and HP TouchPad), and I always come back to the e-ink devices. They’re just so much lighter to hold and more portable when I’m out and about. But that’s really a taste issue; many people are very happy using tablets alone.

  9. Sunita
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 12:18:33

    @Carrie: Just a note: if you run Android from an SD card, you can access the Nook software by removing the card. I think there’s a way to set it up so you can choose which OS to boot from. I do like the original software for some things, and you can subscribe to magazines that way too.

    @Luce: You have no idea how many times I hit the on/off button to get rid of various authors’ faces. Emily is the worst, but she’s not alone. I can’t believe such a little thing can be so irritating to me, but there you go!

    @Keishon: @Estara: Thanks! We Sony people are loyal despite their best efforts to drive us away, aren’t we?

  10. Carrie
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 12:28:54

    @Sunita: I keep coming back to my K3 for the e-ink and because it weighs less than my Kinlde Fire. I don’t think I could use anything larger, because even the relatively small difference between the K3 and the Fire hurts my wrists after a while. But since I have some trouble with my hands/wrists already, the weight difference might not be an issue with most people.

    Also, about the rooted Nook. I do remember now that my husband and son were talking about simply removing the SD card from the Nook this morning at breakfast. I asked my husband and he said that’s exactly what he did, so we can use it either way. I’m glad there are people who know these things! Thanks.

  11. Jayne
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 12:34:48

    @Estara: @Keishon: @Sunita: I’m of the “they’ll have to pry my Sony from my cold, dead hands” school of thought. If Sony ever calls it an ereader day, I don’t know what I’ll do.

  12. Estara
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 13:14:40

    @Jayne: Same here.

  13. Lisa J
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 13:16:55

    @Jayne:

    @Estara: @Keishon: @Sunita: I’m of the “they’ll have to pry my Sony from my cold, dead hands” school of thought. If Sony ever calls it an ereader day, I don’t know what I’ll do.

    I totally agree. I’ve had the 505, 600, and now the PRS-T1 and I have to say I love my Sony and can’t imagine having any other reader. My nephew has a Nook and even he has been talking about how nice my reader is compared to his.

  14. Edward
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 13:46:46

    I don’t understand the fanaticism for Sony readers. What is special about its hardware?

  15. Sunita
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 14:07:02

    @Edward: They’re just beautifully designed and made. The first few models were brushed metal, and despite being made of a heavier material they were very comfortable to hold. The page (and other) buttons were in the right place, at least for right-handed readers. I still have my PRS-900, which has a 7″ touch screen. The touch overlay on the screen compromised the quality, but I still like it too much to get rid of it.

    The most recent models are plastic, but they make up for that by making them really light. The Sony WITH the cover is about the same weight as the Nook without one, and the Kindle Keyboard is heavier than either.

    Unfortunately, the software is glitchy and the Sony Bookstore has sucked since Day 1.

  16. Little Red
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 16:06:03

    I just bought mine two weeks ago. I’m still trying to figure it all out and how to use it with Calibre. But I like the e-reader experience overall.

  17. meoskop
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 16:57:57

    I appreciate this review – I have found since switching to my K3 I have used my reader about 60% less. I was thinking about going back to Sony, but wanted to know about the Glow option. I went to look at a Nook after reading this only to find the PRS-T1 on sale for $39. I took it as a sign & bought it.

  18. Estara
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 16:59:10

    @Edward: The PRS-650 has Pearl e-ink touch screens, so there is no longer any compromise on the screen quality, it’s very light and still made of metal. Because it supports .epub I can buy whereever I want (and do, the Sony ebookstore really is a joke for buyers) – because Calibre totally supports it, I can arrange my collections in as much detail as I need.
    It being a Sony they have an excellent mp3-player inside, you just have to have headphones of good enough quality. If you run out of space on the model (which I do because I also read manga there), you have Memorystick and SD-Card as an option.
    Someone on the Mobileread forums even cracked the firmware to enable more stuff, but I’m happy with what I got.
    People who want the one-click wifi convenience will have to buy a different Sony

  19. Dabney
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 17:49:58

    @Sunita: We have four Kindles here, so we always buy from Amazon.

  20. Dabney
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 17:51:26

    @Carrie: I love my K3 but find my hand hurts after hours of reading on it. I need more page turning options.

  21. willaful
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 19:00:39

    You can also download alternative screensavers for the Nook, or create your own: http://www.nook-look.com/pages/howto

  22. Sunita
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 20:22:15

    @Little Red: Be sure to upgrade your Calibre software if you already have it on your computer. They very recently added compatibility for this model. The icon is that of an older Nook, but the transfers work fine. The Mobileread and B&N forums are very helpful for tips, and if you have a specific question I’d be happy to try and help.

    @meoskop: I saw your tweet and it almost sent me to Target.

    @willaful: Ooh, thanks! Doggie screensavers ahoy.

  23. Ingo Lembcke, Germany
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 05:04:41

    @Sunita: Interesting. I agree with your view on the software – the newer reader software is even worse than the previous one for Mac OS X and Windows is slower and has at least one non-fixed error (periodical date is shown as the day before, contacted support about that once, was in the fixed list but still exists).
    But the shop? IMHO it is better than Kobo, I still get confused there. And it is at least as good as Barnes & Noble.

    Sony has more sort options and the ability to narrow down a search by searching in the results of the previous search.
    Their prices are also ok, very rarely an ebook is cheaper at Barnes & Noble, more often at Amazon, but stripping DRM and converting to EPUB is probably not for everyone.

    And I really like at the Sony Shop their easy way to set up alerts for certain authors – beats Amazon by a few clicks (and copy&paste). And at Barnes & Nobles I have not found that feature, even though I looked – “My Favourites” could be a similar offer, but I have not tested it and it also requires more work to set up.

  24. Author On Vacation
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 08:20:08

    I’ve had a NSTG since their release and I’m crazy about it for virtually all the reasons cited in this review. It is an excellent reading device, lightweight and portable, and its lack of multitasking abilities prevents distractions from a good read.

    However, I’m let down by the minimal storage options in the NSTG. I own close to 500 Nookbooks and can’t fit all of them on the device. All I can do is archive some of the books and sideload them onto additional storage. I dislike doing this because sideloaded books don’t appear as cover art thumbnails on the device; instead they are just a generic book labeled with the title. Furthermore, the sideloaded books appear twice in one’s library (once as an “archived” book, again as a sideloaded book.) The Glow also doesn’t have a reliable shelving method. Many users complain about the shelving option malfunctioning.

    This inconveniences me since I also own a NookColor which holds my full library with room to spare. If I archive books on the Glow, they’re archived on the Color, too. Which means if I want to read or re-read an archived book, I need internet access to de-archive it and that is not always available.

    I seriously considered returning my Glow due to this problem, but I’ve decided the benefits (light weight, comfortable to hold, effective light source, easy reading — no eyestrain) outweigh the inconveniences. I recommend it to anyone willing to make do with less than their complete e-library.

    Finally, I recently endured a truly unacceptable customer service experience with Barnes & Noble concerning an ebook purchase. After a nearly three-hour conversation with 3 separate reps, that issue remains unresolved. This has led me to seriously question my business relationship with this company and undermines my confidence in recommending the Nook or Nookbooks.

  25. Sunita
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 08:55:33

    @Ingo Lembcke, Germany: You are the first person I’ve met that has good things to say about the Sony bookstore, but I’m more than happy to believe you! I haven’t used the store in over a year. When I first got my Daily Reader I had a couple of magazine/newspaper subscriptions, but I found buying books and subscription management frustrating, as I remember. I’ve never used author alerts at any site, so I can’t comment on that. But it may well be better now. Indeed, I really hope it’s better, because I want Sony’s ereader and book business to survive and thrive.

  26. Sunita
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 09:14:13

    @Author On Vacation:

    However, I’m let down by the minimal storage options in the NSTG. I own close to 500 Nookbooks and can’t fit all of them on the device. All I can do is archive some of the books and sideload them onto additional storage.

    I’m not sure why you can’t fit them all. The software reserves up to 750MB of the 1GB for B&N purchases. If your books are averaging 1.5MB in size, those are huge for ePubs. Are they text- or graphics-heavy? Because my impression from the various comment boards is that people can keep 500-700 books purchased at B&N on their Nooks. Books purchased elsewhere would have to utilize the remaining 250MB, but then you shouldn’t have the archiving or display problem with them because they aren’t at B&N in the first place and have to be sideloaded onto the device, either in original storage or on an SD card.

    The Glow also doesn’t have a reliable shelving method. Many users complain about the shelving option malfunctioning.

    People definitely complain about the shelving option (as people complain about Kindle collections, because both are limited and time-consuming to perform if you have a large library). But how is it unreliable? I found it very easy to add books to shelves, especially since you can sort by “recent”. I just individually add the new books to as many shelves as I want.

    Finally, I recently endured a truly unacceptable customer service experience with Barnes & Noble concerning an ebook purchase. After a nearly three-hour conversation with 3 separate reps, that issue remains unresolved. This has led me to seriously question my business relationship with this company and undermines my confidence in recommending the Nook or Nookbooks.

    What kind of problem did you have? My limited experience with B&N’s customer service has not been encouraging, but I have such low expectations of CS to begin with that when it is good, I treat it as an added bonus. But I should have said something in the review, so thanks for bringing this up. It took me over a week of failed trips and phone calls to more than half a dozen stores before I managed to purchase the Nook GL (in the end I bought it through the website). I knew some people were getting them before the May 7 release date but I was traveling so didn’t want to order by mail. I had people at two stores tell me they were in stock when they weren’t (these were managers, too). At other stores, they either had no idea about delivery dates or had been given dates that B&N then failed to meet. So it was a combination of actively incompetent people and knowledgeable people who were being let down by the company. I felt frustrated, but also sad for the smart employees.

    That said, one of my worst and one of my best CS experiences involved people at Apple’s Genius Bars and stores, so I pretty much treat CS as a crapshoot these days. If I get a good one, I feel as if I should send the individual a box of really good chocolate.

  27. Little Red
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 11:21:41

    @Sunita: Thanks, Sunita. Right now, I’m rather confused as to how the various pieces fit together. Do I need Adobe Digital Editions? What about the Nook for PC application?

    I have Calibre version 0.8.53 but I haven’t gone through yet with the latest update to 0.8.54. I was able to sideload books from ARe, using Calibre, but I think their files are corrupt/messed up because I was unable to open up files that I downloaded from their store. Unless, there is more to this whole process.

  28. Sunita
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 11:29:14

    @Little Red: If you want to read DRM’d ePubs other than B&N ePubs on your Nook, you have to link the Nook to Adobe Digital Editions and authorize the Nook as an ADE reader. Then, within the ADE program, you drag and drop the book from ADE to the Nook. Then it should open. You have to open the book in ADE before you can read it on the Nook, because that’s the only place the authorization can happen. I haven’t used Nook for PC so I don’t have any help for that, I’m afraid.

    Calibre 0.8.53 should be fine; they updated in 0.8.49, I believe. I don’t know why ARe files aren’t opening for you. Are they DRM’d? Then you use the Adobe process. If not, trying converting them through Calibre (ePub to ePub) and see if that works. If not, then it might be an ARe problem.

  29. Stacie
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 13:14:45

    I have the Touch also. I rooted it to put dropbox on it along with a Kindle app. Now I feel like I have the best of both worlds.
    Someone mentioned the shelves not working. Mine disappear each time I turn Nook off. I thought it was because I rooted it, but if someone else mentioned it maybe there is a problem. I’ve been waiting for a review of the GL Touch. I think I’m going to get one. I always leave my booklight on at night and then need new batteries.

  30. willaful
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 13:27:37

    @Little Red: The Nook Touch will not read a certain type of file, .prc IIRC — known as “Secure Ereader.” Could the books you bought on Are be that format? Calibre will send them, but they won’t show up.

    The older Nooks would read these and it’s a crying shame B&N dropped that format. And yet another form of shooting themselves in the foot (along with the special DRM in “NookBooks”) since it encourages breaking the DRM.

  31. willaful
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 13:30:27

    Make that .pdb . I should’ve looked it up first.

  32. willaful
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 13:34:08

    BTW, my experiences with B&N customer service have been dismal (though Kobo is worse) but I’m told if you take your Nook in to a store, you can usually get good service.

    Also, a friend of mine having issues with B&N bot replies sent them an email complaining very strongly and that triggered a response from a real person. Phrases like “will never buy another Nook” are apparently effective. :-)

  33. Sunita
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 13:42:20

    @Stacie: My shelves don’t disappear when I turn my Nook off and on, but the annotations in a non-B&N book do. Boo to that.

    @willaful: Oh, that’s a good point. I’d forgotten about the older DRM’d files, even though I have a lot of Secure Ereader files from the Palm days.

  34. Little Red
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 13:56:47

    @willaful: Nope, definitely an ePub format. It showed up in my Nook library but I was unable to open it.

    @Sunita: I went ahead and installed ADE on my PC and created myself an Adobe ID. But I don’t think I’ve yet linked my Nook to ADE. Last night, I tried to move the ePub file into ADE but it complained about some errors in the file. I’ll work on it some more this evening. Thanks for answering my questions.

  35. Stacie
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 16:06:46

    @Sunita: That’s weird. My annotations in non B&N books stay put.
    My sister also has the Touch but her annotations disappeared like yours and her shelves work. We have the same firmware. We both got them at the same Target on the same day. I guess you never know what you get with a Nook.

  36. Sunita
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 16:51:52

    @Stacie: And … that’s why ebook readers wind up at Amazon buying Kindles. So frustrating!

  37. Author On Vacation
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 18:04:18

    @Sunita:

    Hi, sorry for my tardy reply.

    I’m not sure why you can’t fit them all. The software reserves up to 750MB of the 1GB for B&N purchases. If your books are averaging 1.5MB in size, those are huge for ePubs. Are they text- or graphics-heavy?

    My personal library consists mainly of fiction novels. I do have a few books featuring graphics, but I wouldn’t call it a substantial amount. I own 470 Nookbooks (996 MB), but the Glow only holds about 450 (that’s my best guess, I’m not going back to count the archived vs. unarchived titles.)

    People definitely complain about the shelving option (as people complain about Kindle collections, because both are limited and time-consuming to perform if you have a large library). But how is it unreliable? I found it very easy to add books to shelves, especially since you can sort by “recent”. I just individually add the new books to as many shelves as I want.

    I’ve heard repeated complaints that the shelves “collapse” so to speak. I’m satisfied with the shelving/organization options on my NookColor, but I’m not willing to invest the time in shelving books on the Glow because I’m not willing to deal with the frustration of having those shelves malfunctioning.

    What kind of problem did you have? My limited experience with B&N’s customer service has not been encouraging, but I have such low expectations of CS to begin with that when it is good, I treat it as an added bonus.

    My complaint: I purchased a Nookbook advertised as a trilogy or bundle type book. Supposedly, I was buying the first three books in a series at a discounted price. After confirming the purchase, I only received the first book. I contacted CS to request all three books. The agents insisted I do all sorts of stuff with the device and my computer to “find” the books. After jumping through hoops for literally hours, the second-to-last rep claimed I was only supposed to receive the first book for the discounted price. Fortunately, I saved screenshots of the items and price I ordered. They insisted it was a mistake, but they declined to refund me the money or provide me with the books.

    I’m actually not so upset about the “bait and switch sale,” but I am furious with the lengthy conversations to nowhere where the reps refused to take responsibility for the problem or to do anything about it.

    I disagree with your philosophy about expecting bad service so you can be happy when you get good service. I think just the opposite is true. The more customers entertain low standards and expectations, the more tolerant they become of exploitation, such as dishonesty/theft. Offering someone particular merchandise for a set price and selling him/her something else is illegal. It’s not a “mistake” and it shouldn’t be “the customer’s problem.”

    I am seriously considering looking into a Kindle purchase, and I’m not crazy about Amazon.

  38. Author On Vacation
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 18:07:05

    @willaful:

    Another good phrase to use: “I have removed my payment information from my bn.com account and will do no further business with your company.”

  39. Susan
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 23:34:25

    This is very interesting–the GL sounds WAY more appealing than I would have thought based on the description.

    Since I’m a Kindle user, I’ll wait to see what Amazon comes up with and then make a decision. I currently use the Kindle Touch with the lighted cover–altho I don’t use the light all that often, I do appreciate having the feature available. It’s much lighter and easier to use than the K3 with the lighted cover. (I do have an iPad and a Fire. I barely use the iPad for anything anymore, and do very little book reading on either because of the weight of the devices and because they hurt my eyes more.)

  40. Sunita
    Jun 05, 2012 @ 00:01:18

    @Author On Vacation: Thanks for replying. It sounds as if your shelves problem is similar to what other people have experienced. And given the variations reported across devices, maybe the storage problem is an idiosyncratic glitch as well (not that that helps you, since you’re the one having to deal with it). I’ll be curious to see if these variations smooth out with the next firmware update.

    I agree that if you don’t receive what you’ve paid for, the correct company response is to rectify the problem, not (a) pretend it doesn’t exist; and then (b) tell you it’s your fault.

    My approach to CS is a practice rather than a philosophy; I agree that we should be treated better, but given the realities, my quality of life is not improved by going at it with people at the bottom of the chain. It means I’m not fighting the good fight, but it’s better for my blood pressure.

    My point in bringing up my Apple experience was to illustrate that in my experience bad customer service stems from training and policies and is industry-wide rather than company-specific. I had similar lengthy and useless conversations with entry-level people at Apple, who only stopped parroting their script when I repeatedly called back, made it clear I had documentation to support my position, and insisted on talking to managers.

    @Susan: I’ve really been surprised at how much I like the Nook GL. It’s not perfect, but I have yet to find a reader or tablet that is, in terms of what I want it to do. I’m looking forward to seeing what Amazon comes up with, but I suspect the Nook will remain a worthy competitor.

    I’ve also found, as @willaful: has related, that in-person discussions are more likely to yield useful results, but that is not possible for everyone, or in every case.

  41. Andrys
    Jun 05, 2012 @ 02:03:55

    Customer Service is everything. With Amazon, the policy is that you can return an e-book for a refund within 7 days if you don’t like the layout or lack of table of contents or bad formatting, or if it’s just riddled with errors as so many are. B&N’s official policy is No returns on those. Missing pages are not a sufficient reason, as a few have discovered. That is fairly telling.

    But the reason I’m writing is that any Android tablet, like the Kindle Fire, can now read even DRM’d ePub books. The apps are capable and they observe Adobe DRM and use it as it is used on any device that reads DRM’d ePub books.

    I explain how this is done (it’s totally legal and kosher) at
    http://kindleworld.blogspot.com/2012/05/how-to-read-drmd-epub-books-on-kindle.html

    Thanks for your info on the GlowLight’s display. I’m sensitive to display contrast so I hope Amazon can solve that problem but I don’t expect they will, as it seems a byproduct of having to use another layer above the display screen.

  42. willaful
    Jun 05, 2012 @ 15:01:36

    @Little Red: I’d guess then that Sunita was right and it was because the books weren’t first unlocked with ADE. If you can download them again, that might be the simplest way to do it — you should be able to choose “open with ADE” at the download option.

  43. willaful
    Jun 05, 2012 @ 15:02:51

    P.S. Your Adobe account has to use the same email as your Nook account to work with your Nook.

  44. Geert
    Jun 08, 2012 @ 12:03:18

    @willaful
    Your B&N account and your Adobe account are 2 separate accounts.
    You do not have to use the same e-mail address. For both accounts you can use any e-mail address you like.

  45. willaful
    Jun 08, 2012 @ 13:27:05

    @Geert: Huh. I have seen that advice given many, many times. I apologize for passing on incorrect information.

  46. Anthony
    Jun 08, 2012 @ 16:46:45

    @Sunita:

    Indeed. I remember importing my first Sony Reader from Japan since they weren’t selling them here yet.

    But when they finally did I rushed to buy one. Store was awful. And the software competed for “worst ever” title. The device was still the best I’ve seen.

    Frankly, I don’t like any of the eReaders. The few times I’ve bought books (mostly business) in e-form I’ve read them on my iPhone. For pleasure reading I still buy paper or check out from my library.

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