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Nook for Android a great app for e-bookworms

by Tim McLain

We all know eBook readers are all the rage. Amazon’s Kindle continues to burn up the charts. And Barnes & Noble regulars have no doubt seen displays of B&N’s popular Android-powered Nook eReader devices in stores. Now, B&N brings all of your Nook content to your little DROID, and adds some new functionality to sweeten the deal, with mixed results. (Better late than never, I say.)

After installing the free app, sign up for a new account or log in using your existing username and password. A long list of free classic titles and bestseller samples instantly appears, along with your past Nook purchases. Just click each title of interest to transfer the content to your DROID. It doesn’t get any easier than this.

As soon as you dive into your first title, you’ll find the page flipping to be downright fun. Just swipe across the page to turn the virtual pages forward or back. I’m a fan of the animated page turns; you can tweak the settings so pages simply slide backwards and forwards as well. You can also lock the display orientation with one small menu tweak.

Want the letters to be a little bigger? Choose from five font sizes. Don’t like the default type style? Choose from a menu of eight fonts. Place a virtual bookmark on any page by clicking a small “+” sign in the upper right-hand corner of any page.

Tap the center of a page to display the name of your current eBook at the top of your screen, or use the handy slider at the bottom to move quickly through the entire book.

Of course, the Nook app wouldn’t be complete without adding the ability to shop for more than 1 million Barnes & Noble eBooks right from your phone. Grab this month’s new releases and  recent bestsellers, plus free classic titles. Downloading books was ultra-quick via Wi-Fi and 3G data networks in my tests.

Last but not least, the eBook lending feature is a mixed bag. Using the “LendMe” option, you can share your titles with a friend. The catch? Once you lend a title, it’s available to your friend for only 14 days (and then disappears). And during this time, you’ll be unable to read the book until the time is up, or your friend clicks “return book.” Ouch.

Overall, this is a solid, albeit vanilla eReader experience. If you’re a fan of Amazon’s Kindle, B&N’s Nook is unlikely to turn you into a convert. However, Nook eReader owners will find having two ways to read their purchased content a welcome addition to the service.