The NOOK 1st Edition bites the dust

Barnes and Noble notified customers by email today letting them know that as of June 29, 2018, they would not longer be supporting the NOOK 1st Edition. The e-reader had a 6″ e-ink screen and a smaller color screen which was used to navigate the device. I never used it much because I found it difficult to navigate, especially when compared with a Kindle.

When it debuted in 2009, it was originally just called the NOOK e-reader, but the name was changed to NOOK 1st Edition when Barnes and Noble released the Simple Touch e-reader.

It seems that there are several versions of this email being sent out. Nate from The Digital Reader notes that his email offered him a discount on other NOOK devices. My email did not contain such an offer.

Here’s the email I received:

Dear Valued Customer,

Over eight years ago, we launched our first NOOK® eReader, and we were thrilled to have you as one of our first customers for what has become a tradition of offering great books on demand to readers. We want to thank you for your loyalty and continued support of the NOOK 1st Edition and NOOK products.

Because of advancements in our eReader technology, we wanted to let you know that, unfortunately, we are unable to continue to support the NOOK 1st Edition.

Please note that as of June 29, 2018, you will not be able to purchase new content, register with a BN.com account, or sign in using a NOOK account on your NOOK 1st Edition. However, you will still be able to access your existing library, or download new content, by using our NOOK Reading Apps™ for iOS, Android, or Windows, on mobile and tablet devices, as well as any of our other NOOK devices.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at 877-831-2393 Monday-Friday 8AM–11PM ET and Saturday-Sunday 9AM–11PM ET. Please be prepared to provide your NOOK 1st Edition serial number. If you need assistance locating your serial number, click here for instructions.

We truly appreciate your business and look forward to continuing to provide you with the great NOOK experience and to welcome you at Barnes & Noble stores.

Sincerely,
Barnes & Noble

This email snafu is not surprising. There have been several times I have received erroneous emails from customer service, if I was lucky enough to get a response at all.

I only own a few books for the NOOK. Most of them were freebies or books that were offered on sale at an bargain price. I also own a NOOK Glowlight (the original one). I mainly used my NOOKs for library books and various epubs I bought elsewhere. Since I bought the Kobo Aura ONE, I tend to use that, especially for books that require Adobe Digital Editions for DRM. So for me personally, this is no big loss.

However, as a consumer, I find this kind of behavior infuriating. Not that I would take them up on it, but if others were being offered a discount towards a new device, I should have been offered one too. After all they are rendering my device pretty much inoperable by their actions.

Compared to Amazon’s customer service, Barnes and Noble’s looks positively medieval. Look at what Amazon did when thy had a device that needed an update to connect: Amazon nagged. Amazon called. Amazon even sent me snail mail to make sure I updated so that I could keep using my device. Barnes and Noble can’t even get an email right. Is it any wonder that they are eating Amazon’s dust in the e-reader market?

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Third-party covers for the Kindle Oasis are here!

Not too long ago, I wrote a post on the bad reviews about the  Amazon-branded Kindle Oasis cover. Customers were also complaining on the Amazon forums about the poor performance of the expensive covers. But because the re-designed Oasis was so new, there were no third-party covers available with the launch of the new e-reader.

Thankfully, that situation has changed with new cases, sleeves and covers for the 2017 Oasis starting to show up on Amazon, including covers from long-time cover makers Moko and Fintie.

Clamshell cases:

Fintie Slim Case for Kindle Oasis (9th Generation, 2017 Release ONLY) – Ultra Thin Lightweight Smart Cover with Auto Wake / Sleep for Amazon All-New 7″ Kindle Oasis E-reader – various colors and designs

The MoKo Case for All-New Kindle Oasis (9th Generation, 2017 Release) – Premium Ultra Lightweight Shell Cover with Auto Wake / Sleep for Amazon Kindle Oasis E-reader Case – various colors and designs

Ratesell All-New Kindle Oasis (9th Generation, 2017 Release) Case – Slim Folding Stand Cover Case with Auto Wake & Sleep Function for Kindle Oasis E-reader 2017 – various colors and designs

Konglin Leather Cover Case for All-New Kindle Oasis (9th Generation,2017 Release Only) Tablet Premium Ultra Cover with Auto Wake / Sleep for Kindle Oasis E-readers – various colors

Sleeves:

If you prefer a sleeve rather than a case for your Oasis, several that have been designed for the new Oasis are available.

WALNEW 7″ Kindle Sleeve for Kindle Oasis 2017 Protective Insert Sleeve Case Bag Kindle Oasis 9th Generation Cover – various colors

ACdream All-New Kindle Oasis 2017 Sleeve, Protective Leather Tablet eReader Case bag for 7 Inch Kindle Oasis 2017 – various colors

Because people seems to be SO dissatisfied with the Amazon covers for the Oasis, these covers seem to be selling VERY quickly and their availability varies considerably (even from day to day). I am seeing some of these covers go back and forth between Prime shipping and third-party, which is not eligible for the free Prime shipping.

Also note that if you are searching for covers that fit the All-New Kindle Oasis E-reader,  they will say 9th generation, 7 inch or Kindle Oasis 2017 in the description.  Covers for the previous Oasis are listed as 2016 model, 6 inch or 8th generation.

Prices on the new cases seem to be averaging between $10.99 and $18.99.

I bought the Moko clamshell cover and am quite happy with it. (Review to follow shortly).

What about you? Have you been looking for a new cover for your 2017 Oasis?

Happy 10th birthday, Kindle!

Today is the 10th anniversary of the release of the original 1st generation Amazon Kindle. The original device cost $400 and sold out within hours.

Courtesy of the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, here is Jeff Bezos’ letter announcing the device. It dominated the Amazon.com homepage (see the page here). 

In contrast, today’s basic Kindle costs only $79.99. We’ve come a long way in the last 10 years, While the Kindle was not the first e-book reader, the device, along with Amazon’s marketing, has made an indelible impact on the book industry. I know that it has certainly changed the way I read.

Happy Birthday, Kindle!

How about you? Has the Kindle changed the way you read or impacted your life?

Covers for the 2017 Oasis drown in poor reviews

When it was released, I bought myself the new 2017 Kindle Oasis e-reader. I did NOT buy the Amazon-branded cover and right now, I am feeling pretty happy with that decision. Both the leather and the fabric versions of the Amazon cover are getting extremely poor reviews from customers. The products are currently at a two-star average rating.

The main functional complaint about these covers is that the cover keeps sliding and falling off the device. Like the original Oasis, these only cover part of the device. Many customers are complaining that because of the new aluminum back on the device itself and weak magnets in the cover, the device offers little protection for the expensive Oasis.

There are also complaints stating that the covers are flimsy, poorly designed and over-priced for a product that costs $45 for fabric and $60 for leather.

Since the new Oasis is really slippery, it is a difficult device to use without a cover. I have a device bag, but for right now, I am refusing to take the device out of the house without a cover.

Several third-party covers are starting to crop up on Amazon, but none are sold by Amazon itself or available via Amazon Prime shipping. One of these does look interesting, however: The MoKo Case for All-New Kindle Oasis (9th Generation, 2017 Release) – Premium Ultra Lightweight Shell Cover with Auto Wake / Sleep for Amazon Kindle Oasis E-reader Case, BLACK. This is a clamshell case that is only available through a vendor that ships directly to the consumer and the delivery date is two weeks out with expedited shipping. MoKo makes a number of covers for Kindles and Fire tablets that are available on Amazon. I am predicting that this one will soon be available as well. I own several of the MoKo covers and have found them to be well made and to fit well.

Did you buy one of the new Oasis covers? What are your thoughts?

2017 Oasis unboxing photos

My new 2017 Oasis arrived yesterday. I got the 32GB version. I am still in the process of setting up, so no real initial impressions so far.

Here are a few unboxing pictures:

The box in the sleeve:

The sleeve and the inner box:

Open box with the first view of the device:

Box contents and Kindle Tree logo:

Device on first setup screen and box content view:

Back of Oasis (in horizontal view):

Since I really prefer third-party covers to styles and prices of the Amazon ones, I haven’t bought a cover for the device yet, so my use of will be somewhat limited except at home.

The Kindle Oasis is currently sold out, with the next shipments expected later in November.

New updates bring Audible to basic Kindle and new customization options

Today’s announcement of the all-new Kindle Oasis included big news on the integration of Audible audiobooks into the device.  Audible integration will roll out as an update when the new Oasis device ships on October 31, 2017.

Also included in the announcement was the news that the basic, entry-level Kindle (current generation 8), along with the first generation Oasis,  will also be getting Audible integration over the coming months. This may be a feature that makes the basic Kindle (which does not have a backlight) more desirable as a device for prospective owners. As noted in this post on The eBook Reader, at least according to its reviews,  the basic, entry level kindle is not well liked.

Today’s announcement also included news of new firmware updates that would add new settings for reading customization, including new font sizes, bolding options and new margin options including an option for left-aligned  /ragged right text..

The new features are:

  • New Font Size and Bold Settings: Now choose from more font sizes than ever before–and five levels of boldness–for whichever font you choose to read with. Combined with the new, 7-inch Paperwhite display, you can personalize your books so it’s perfectly comfortable for your eyes.
  • New Accessibility Options: In addition to the OpenDyslexic font, we’ve added a feature to invert black and white on the display if you have light sensitivity. The new enlarged display option also lets you increase the size of items like the text on the home screen and library as well as the book icons to make the all-new Kindle Oasis easier to read.
  • Light Settings: Built-in ambient light sensors automatically adjust the display to your surroundings whether you’re in a dimly-lit room or outside in the sun–and can be fine-tuned even further based on personal preferences.
  • Ragged Right Alignment: You can now read using left-aligned (ragged right) text.

To me, one of the most intriguing of the new features is the ability to invert black-and-white on the display for those with light sensitivity. This is generally a feature found on apps and tablets, not e-ink readers (although there is supposedly a hack for the Kobo line here.). My old Literarti e-reader had this feature, and I can tell you, being able to read white text on a black screen in a dark room Is a great feature for reading in the middle of the night without disturbing your partner! 🙂

The new firmware features will be delivered as a free over the air update to the Kindle Paperwhite and newer devices starting today.