Barns and Noble has announced and is pre-selling the new Nook second generation Simple Touch Reader (STR). Looking at the specifications the eReader PDB format is not listed as being supported. Only EPUB and PDF are listed. My concern is the fact that I still get books in the PDB format from B&N and this new Nook isn’t going to be able to read them.

I sent and email to B&N’s customer service asking for clarification. The email is as follows:

The new Nook STR has EPUB and PDF listed as the only supported ebook formats. How will I be able to read eReader PDB formatted books distributed by you on this device? Just the other day I purchased Toll the Hounds by Steven Erikson and received this book as an eReader PDB file. Will I not be able to read large parts (including this title) of the B&N sold books on the new Nook?

B&N’s response is as follows:

Dear John Schember,

Thank you for writing to us about NOOK books.

We truly appreciate your taking the time to share your feedback concerning NOOK 2nd edition’s compatibility with .pdb NOOK Books.

Unfortunately, the 2nd edition of our NOOK is designed only in EPUB and PDF format NOOK Books.

Customer feedback is critical to the success of our business, and we rely on suggestions such as yours to help us determine what our customers value most. We have forwarded your suggestion to the individuals responsible for NOOK Books for consideration and possible implementation.

Once again, thank you for your email.

Visit and click on the options that appear in the upper right-hand corner to view information about your order.

We look forward to your next visit.


Maik Customer Service Representative - Digital Support Barnes & Noble Visit our NOOK Support site for the latest updates and downloads at:

The Nook STR does not in fact support the eReader PDB format.

This in itself shouldn’t be much of an issue as I’ve heard B&N has moved their offerings to be 100% EPUB and any PDB books can be re-downloaded from your B&N library as EPUB. This would be fine except I’m still receiving books (new purchases) in the PDB format!

I started a thread on MobileRead about this issue. The user Jane12 figured out what’s happening.

Apparently eReader PDB files are still sent to users who download to their computer using a Mac. Jane12 suggested I try changing my user agent (in my web browser) to say I’m on Windows. A re-download of Toll of the Hounds and I get an EPUB file. Change my user agent back to say I’m using Apple’s OS X and a re-download give me an eReader PDB file.

For what ever reason B&N gives Mac users eReader PDB files and Windows user EPUB file. On top of that their new device doesn’t read eReader PDB files. I foresee a lot of upset Mac user when they find out they can’t read books they’ve purchased from B&N on their B&N device. Especially when B&N defaults to giving Mac users books in a format they are not willing to support in their latest Nook (but support in the first generation model).