First Look at nook: Not Encouraging

We (finally) received our nooks (pre-ordered quite some time ago), and the early results are … disappointing. Loading one (any) of our EPUB ebooks causes the nook to hang, and the book never opens.

Liza Daly hit the same snag as reported on the Threepress blog:

I tried loading a number of O’Reilly Media titles that are valid and work on the Sony Reader and every other ePub device. The Nook only brought up the “Formatting” message, and then hung. Only a full restart would bring it back.

This is an extremely serious problem.

Though many of our EPUB files are large (because of images), they’re definitely standards-compliant, and load just fine into Bookworm and Stanza (which is the rendering engine used for our iPhone apps). Ditto for Aldiko (the rendering engine used for our Android apps).

We were able to get one book to load after removing all of the CSS, but that’s not a viable long-term workaround. I’m disappointed to see this that after B&N watched Amazon do such a terrible job in rendering complex content on Kindle (“what are these tay-buhls of which you speak? Who would put one in a book?”).

(We’re clearly not the only ones disappointed — David Pogue even called the nook “a mess” in his review.)

Dear New York Times: I would have loved to link to David’s actual column, but it’s behind a registration wall. Which means nobody else links to it either, which is why it’s not on the first (or even the second) page of a Google search for “pogue nook”. Those registrations really worth sending so much traffic elsewhere?

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