Is B&N Ever Going to Give up on Nook?

Nook GlowLight Plus

Lots and lots of customers and potential customers have completely given up on the Nook brand as whole, but is Barnes and Noble ever going to give up on Nook?

Honestly, at this point, I would’ve thought that B&N would’ve closed the doors on their Nook business by now.

To me it’s totally surprising that Nook still exists in mid-2016; a few years ago it looked like they’d never keep Nook around this long.

For awhile they were going split Nook off into a separate business because it keeps dragging down the rest of B&N’s business.

The Nook brand just continues to lose money for B&N every year; at some point you’d think they would have to cut the cord.

B&N has successfully turned away most would-be Nook customers over the past few years. The final straw was when they stopped allowing customers to download their own purchased ebooks to anything but a Nook device or Nook app. Few people trust B&N after that.

Nook-related articles on this website get so little attention anymore that they aren’t even worth the time to write (like this one). It’s amazing just how far the Nook has fallen since the original Nook Touch. Nobody cares about Nooks anymore, and that is entirely B&N’s fault. At this point they might as well just throw in the towel.

20 Responses to “Is B&N Ever Going to Give up on Nook?”

  1. Though Nook is my ereader of choice, I would agree with this assessment. Nook has one advantage over Amazon for those of us who are willing to risk our devices by rooting/jail breaking them. To my knowledge, B&N has never tried to plug the holes that allow rooting. I believe Amazon has released updates that plugged the holes that allowed certain Kindles to be rooted. There is still a quite active forum over at XDA for Nook users, but the overall percentage of Nook users vs. other brands is so small that they are very unlikely to ever make a profit.

    Also, for what it is worth, you can still download your Nook books to a PC IF (a big IF) you still have an old copy of the Nook for PC software. (Nook for PC version

    • NOTE: I have not tried Nook for PC v. on Windows 10. (A Google search will reveal multiple places you can still download the installer from.) So perhaps you still need Windows 7 or earlier to use this option.

      • Back when they cared about the ereader business, B&N included sdcard expansion capability; making rooting worthwhile and very useful.

        In the last 2 models, though, they not only dropped this capability they reserved a large part of existing storage to ONLY B&N books. The result is that rooting is not only much more difficult, it is very limited because of the lack of storage.

        The limited storage affects more than rooting because it severely limits the device’s overall usage if your books don’t come from B&N OR if you want to reformat the book to your liking through Calibre.

        I *had* been a fan of the early Nooks but that ended quickly when they made that change. Basically, it’s like they wanted to destroy their business.

        • I have my Glowlight Plus rooted and find it very useful. I have more books on it than I can keep track of and have not even used up half of the available storage. It took me less than 30 minutes to root it thanks to the good folks at xda.

          I have tablets to do things other than reading. Putting apps besides other reading apps on an eInk device is a waste imho. An email app might be useful, but my phone does that better and is always connected to wifi whereas my Nook almost never is.

  2. I have version recently downloaded from the Windows Store under Win 10, and it saves to local disk quite happily.

    In my case it writes to “C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Packages\BarnesNoble.Nook_ahnzqzva31enc\LocalState\

    [I wonder if the Win 8/Win 10 apps have different versioning sequences?]

    • Yes, my epubs are stored in the same location.

    • “[I wonder if the Win 8/Win 10 apps have different versioning sequences?]”

      You are correct. You are using the Windows 10 “app” rather than the desktop app. The interface is different and so is the way ebook files are stored. With the “Nook for PC”, when you “archive” a file, it just marks it as archived but the epub remains on you hard disk. It appears that it deletes the epub. Also, the Nook for PC desktop application stores the epubs in C:\Users\wrdavid\Documents\My Barnes & Noble eBooks\{your B&N account login} AND it stores them with a recognizable file name. The Nook app only has an index number.

  3. I am a mostly Nook only reader, though I have a handful of books on my Kindle app on my ipad. I always preferred Nook, first, due to the ability to add extra storage (which I really never needed) and second, because you could read the most common ebook format. That was something that pissed me off about Kindle; you could only read their proprietary type of ebook (barring Calibre of course).

    It’s funny, I always thought Nook was splitting off from B&N because ebook sales were on the rise and brick and mortar stores were on the decline… I thought Nook was the successful part, meaning the ebooks as well, not the hardware.

  4. I still only have my original nook color. Not rooted, no extra card just the nook.I can still get books from nook and my public library to read. I can also use google on wifi. But other apps like Facebook don’t show up correctly anymore. If B&N drops nook does that mean all the books I have purchased will be gone? What would you advise?

    • What David said. It’s always good to have backups, and that’s why people got mad when B&N stopped allowing downloading backups from their website.

  5. I would suggest getting one of the Nook for PC applications mentioned above. Then make sure you have all of your books downloaded and backed up. I would suggest using Calibre to back them up.

    • I suspect many people don’t even own computers anymore. I have a number of tablets, kindles, an iPad mini, etc. I don’t own a computer, so please keep that in mind.

      • If you do not have a computer you are basically trusting your entire digital documents collection to one, or hopefully multiple, cloud provider(s). Unless you have a ‘rooted’ device with an SDcard/MicroSDcard slot, you have no way of keeping a backup copy of any of your digital files in your home. I personally would not be comfortable with that situation.

        FULL DISCLOSURE, I am an IT professional who works for a company that provides cloud support and I still don’t trust it.

  6. I do most of my reading on a Kindle but I do have the Nook Glowlight Plus and if it weren’t for a couple of really dumb design issues it would be my reader of choice.

    The first hs that big capacitive button always waiting to send me out of my book when I least expect it. Jeff Bezos said the reader should disappear while we read but I don’t dare stop thinking about the Nook or I’ll be back at home page. I tried and tried to develop habits that avoid this but it never stopped. I even glued felt around the sensitive area so I couldn’t touch it without warning and that helped but not nearly enough.

    The second problem is the way the text when you look something up in the dictionary becomes unreadable, faded to halftones. My old eyes simply aren’t good enough to read it.

    These are easily the two dumbest design decisions in the history of ereaders. And the real shame is that, except for them, it’s a superb device. I would really prefer it to my Voyage if I could use it.

    Yes it’s sad that B&N is fading away. We need them because they’re a good book store and because Amazon needs their competition. I’m a big fan of Amazon but they’re only good because they have to be. Without B&N we’re all in trouble.

    Sad, yes, but B&N deserves what they get. They simply refuse to do a good job for their customers. We, however, don’t deserve to lose them.



  7. I never saw the sense in buying a device that could do only one thing – store and display books, and MAYBE some reference material and notes. Kindles were a never a temptation, although I used the Kindle app for my phones and tablets. Reading about the Nook Touch’s possibilities when rooted (in this place incidentally) finally won me over, and what a wonderful device it still is, with XDA and here as great places for support and new ideas. For years I’ve been toying with replacing it with a Boyue, but everytime I come back.

    So, right_ It’s a shame for B&N to never realize what the real strength of their line was, and where they could have formed an impressive and effective opposition against Amazon. I guess now they never will.

  8. Well, I’m also surprised that B&N hasn’t finally let go of Nook, but I can say that a little while back I completely removed any linking of Barnes and Noble to my extremely heavily modified Nook, so that no matter what the company does, I’ll still have my fully functional eInk tablet.

  9. Apparently B&N haven’t given up on the eInk Nooks yet. I connected mine to WiFi today, something I rarely do, and it installed an update. The new software version is 46.2.13/ Some of the changes are related to formatting. First, the header and footer are still there, but the space that they take up has been greatly reduced. There is a trade off as there is not an extra line between paragraphs. Generally there are one or two extra lines per page after the update. They have also added the ability to change the font wait. The choices are regular, thinner and thicker. There is also an additional font choice, “original”, which I assume means using any font embedded in the epub. My used to be (and soon will be again) rooted so I rarely use the stock reader, so I don’t remember if it used embedded fonts before or not.

    When the update happened, I lost root, but did not lose Lightning Launcher or any of the third party reading apps. I assume that I will be able to use the same process I used originally to re-root when I find a need for root access.

    Nathan: If you have gotten rid of your GlowLight Plus, I could try to get you some pictures of the update if that would be helpful.

    • Cool, good to hear they’re still developing the Nook’s software. The bold fonts could help someone a couple of comments ago. It makes you wonder if B&N has a new Nook in the pipeline for later this year. They so rarely update the software why would they suddenly do it now?

      • I was wondering the same thing. To be honest, I was initially worried when I saw the update message. Once the update completed and I discovered everything was functioning properly I the worry turned to shock that there was an update. Then the shock turned to wonder when I saw that they had actually addressed some of the major complaints users had. There is also a new justification setting that I don’t remember in the old software.

        For other Nook owners, I was able to re-root my GlowLight Plus using the same procedure I used to root it initially.

  10. I am really hoping a new nook glow light plus will come out this year (2017) I like the classy look of the Nook. The white front and copper color back is attractive. I really hate the solid black of the Voyage. The Kindle Voyage is superior but I prefer to support I local store rather than an internet giant like amazon. I especially want a screen bigger than 6 inches. If nook beats Kindle in this area first it should boost sales. I am really rooting for B&N to make a comeback.