The Nook's Most Important Feature is Epub Compatibility

I've seen a lot of articles on line about the various features of the Nook device, but most of them seem to bury the news that it's Epub-compatible, if they mention it at all. But Epub compatibility--and the fact that BN is converting its entire library to epub--is the single most important bit of news here, and the reason is simple. Sony now also sells its ebooks in the epub format. Which means if I bought a bunch of books for the Sony Reader, and then buy a Nook, those books are still usable. On the other hand, if I had a Kindle, my Kindle books would be unusable on the new device. In other words, the Nook and the Sony Reader allow me to create a library of books independent of whatever reader I have, where as the Kindle locks you into their format. That means that 10 or 20 years from now I might still have usable ebooks, for reference, for rereading, for referring to notes I might have taken. As long as there are still devices compatible with epub, I'm fine. That's huge.

Now if we can just get these ebooks off of DRM, we'd really have something...

Comments

ePub

I do think ePub is an important feature (and you rightly gave me grief for burying it) but 2 issues:

1. I read that BN is converting *some* of their catalog to ePub, not all.
2. I am not sure that the fact the Nook is ePub guarantees my Sony purchases will be readable on a Nook if I buy one.

I thought the DRM piece on ePub could be different between readers. I could be totally off base there, but I think unless Sony sanctions moving to the Nook, my DRM books will not be able to follow me.

1. "We're back, and questions

1. "We're back, and questions kick off with a question about ePub formats. They like it, which is why their entire catalog will switch to it when the Nook launches." according to BN rep at launch event, as quoted by Gizmodo.

2. To my knowledge, both are using the Adobe Editions DRM, which, at least theoretically, means you should be able to authorize the same book on either device.

Also, one thing I didn't note was that the epub compatibility makes it useful for third-party bookstores. I'd mention Fictionwise as one, but they were recently bought by B&N. But B&N has said that all the books sold at Fictionwise will be readable on the Nook.

Also of note is that, unlike the Sony reader and the Kindle, the Nook reads the PDB format of eReader.com (formally the Palm Doc format, currently bought up by B&N), which is significant for those of us who bought ebooks to read on their Palm devices.

I have personal experience

I have personal experience with buying books off of the Kobo store and reading them on my Sony reader, and both of them use the Adobe ePub format. If BN uses the same format, then it should also be applicable across readers.

P.S. I'm finding the Kobo store is way better than the Sony eBookstore for books in terms of price, selection, and (Canadian) availability. Just a thought if you're looking for a book on the Sony eBookstore and can't find it.