The most important advantage of the Nook over the Kindle to me is its native support for the ePub format. Mostly I read public domain classics in western letters as well as Austrian and proto-Austrian works. There is an abundance of the former available in ePub at Project Gutenberg as well as other sites, and an ever-growing stock the latter available here in the Mises.org Literature section.
Now this is my biggest gripe about the Nook.
While there is a search function and a “coverflow” feature for the Nook’s library of books that are downloaded from the Barnes and Noble web site (the “My B&N Library”), there are no such functions for the books you get from other sources (which are stored in the “My Documents” section of the Nook). You have to manually flip through pages listing all your books each time you want to switch from one book to another. This is a big pain in the neck for anybody who wants to stock their Nook with hundreds (or even just dozens) of books from other sources. I’m dealing with this restriction by getting as many free classics as possible from the B&N store (just search for what you want and then sort by price to find all the free stuff) and by carefully organizing all my non-B&N PDFs and ePubs in a folder on my computer, loading only the handful of books that I’m most interested in at the time on my Nook, and periodically changing that mix according to my evolving interests. Having to do this with files consisting mostly of text, on a gadget that can hold 2 Gigabytes, for want of a simple search function, is frankly ridiculous; hopefully Barnes and Noble will fix this in a software update soon.
I’m happy to report that consumer sovereignty has held sway, and Barnes and Noble has indeed added a search function that works for ePub and PDF books in the most recent Nook software update. This has revolutionized my eReading experience. Now my Nook is packed with a vast abundance of great literature. All my favorite writers and thinkers are in there, and each work is just a search term away: Aeschylus, Euripides, Aristotle, Cicero, Polybius, Tacitus, Ovid, Spinoza, Hume, Voltaire, Say, Bastiat, Mises, Hazlitt, Woods, Murphy, Tucker, Kinsella, Gordon, Klein, French, DiLorenzo, et cetera. What’s more, B&N has also added a “Shelves” function for organizing your eBooks. So, I created a highly useful “Nightstand” shelf for the 3 or 4 books I’m focusing on at any given time.
With the Nook, the free resources provided at Mises.org and other sites (like Project Gutenberg and ManyBooks.net), and the low-price, high-quality live instruction offered online at the Mises Academy, it’s never been easier to provide oneself with a world-class education.