Welcome to Dear Jane, a weekly column based upon reader mailbag questions on anything relating to e-books. No question is too simple or too mundane.

Dear Jane,

I have the opportunity to purchase a Sony PRS-300 eReader. The problem is that I've heard that Barnes & Noble e-books aren't readable on or transferable to the eReader. What I can't find is any definite information one way or the other. Does Calibre solve this issue of B&N books not being true ePub format? I have gift cards to use and don't want to purchase a reader that can't read e-books I purchased or plan to purchase. I know this particular Sony is just a basic eReader and I'm fine with that, primarily because the price is reasonable (less than $140).

-Debating a Sony


Dear Debating a Sony,

I am sorry to say that the digital books that you buy from Barnes and Noble are not transferable to any of the Sony devices. While Calibre is a great software program for managing your digital books, it can only convert digital books that are unlocked.

A more technical explanation:
Both the nook and Sony devices read a format called "epub" but the nook uses a special type of software lock and right now, only the nook reading device (and eReader software) has the unlock key.




For more discussion about the Sony and nook, please see RT's Reader Forum: E-book Questions Answered Here.

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