Barnes & Noble announced last week that their new ebook reader, a free Nook application for iPhones and other devices, is ready to download. I was a little suspicious, since I've been reading on the eReader regularly and don't see any need to change the software. Plus, having dealt with customer support a few times regarding the eReader, I'm quite convinced that the support team is a bunch of idiots (and maybe the software developers, too).
Turned out my fears were well-founded: People have been having problems with the Nook app. It was nowhere near ready to be launched — people can't even open their ebooks. yet when B&N launched the new app, they stopped making the original eReader available in the app store. Needless to say, I'll be waiting — perhaps indefinitely, but at least until they get the problems ironed out — before I download the new reader.
Having read at least a handful of ebooks on the iPhone now, I definitely think there are a lot of benefits:
* I can read in the dark. (They enable you to set a "nighttime" color scheme that is easier on the eyes. I chose a light grey background with a darker grey font.)
* No more heavy books. I don't have to prop heavy hardbacks or large trade paperbacks up against my legs when I read in bed.
* I can hold the "book" and turn the page with one hand. I can sometimes do this with paperbacks, but it's so much easier when all that's required is a short, one-finger sliding motion across the screen.
* I can have unlimited books and don't have to find the space for them. Of course, there is only so much memory on my iPhone, but I can leave them in my online library (on B&N's server) except when I want to read them.
* I get free classics. There are tons of free ebooks available through Google Books, though they aren't formatted for the iPhone's screen. Also, until September 14th, B&N is also giving away a new selection of their (nicely formatted) classics every week.
* I always have something with me to read. I still think this is absolutely the best part of reading ebooks on the iPhone. No matter where I am, if I get bored I always have something with me. I can open up the eReader and be reading in a matter of seconds.
Unfortunately, if you didn't already download the eReader app, I advise waiting until they work the bugs out of the Nook app. What a pity they pulled the old app before the new one was really ready.