Huffpost Technology

'War and Peace' Nook Ebook Found Without Any Mention Of Word 'Kindle'

Posted: Updated:
Nook
Nook

The Nook-Kindle ereader rivalry just took an odd turn.

Blogger Philip Howard noticed an error in Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace while reading the monstrous novel on his Nook ereader; he saw that the word "kindle" had apparently been swapped for the word "nook" in several places in the e-book, which he had purchased for $0.99 from the Barnes & Noble Nook Store .

According to a post on Howard's personal blog, the first odd sentence he saw read thus: "It was as if a light had been Nookd in a carved and painted lantern…"

Not thinking much of the mistake, he read on.

"Some pages later I encountered the rogue word again. With my third encounter I decided to retrieve my hard cover book and find the original (well, the translated) text," Howard wrote on his blog. To his astonishment, he found that every form of the word "kindle" in the paper version had been replaced with a variation of "nook" in the digital copy.

The Atlantic Wire has printed several other deviations from Tolstoy's text. For example, there was an instance of Prince Dolgorukov saying, “He has retreated and ordered the rearguard to Nook fires and made a noise to deceive us.” And still another read, "Nook in all hearts the flame of virture."

Oops.

Digital books are often rife with errors, but this smacks of a tricky marketing strategy. Before you point the finger of blame at Barnes & Noble, however, consider the following: The compromised version of War and Peace is published by a third-party company, Superior Formatting Publishing.

"The Superior Formatting Publishing version isn’t a Barnes [&] Noble book, so this isn’t the work of a rogue Nook marketer from B&N," says Kendra Albert and Jonathan Zittrain at The Future of the Internet blog.

Superior Formatting Publishing verified the discrepancy on its website. The company wrote that it initially formatted the digital text for the Kindle platform and that the error occurred when it reformatted the book for the Nook platform.

From Superior's explanation:

This happened because all of our titles were originally published on the Amazon Kindle platform first, and the titles formerly had a small paragraph of text describing our works at the beginning of the book. This paragraph had the word Kindle in it several times. When Barnes and Noble released their publishing platform we were obviously excited to offer our books there as well. A Find and Replace was done on the introductory paragraph to replace the word Kindle with Nook (along with some other formatting modifications specific to the Nook editions). On this particular title there was obviously a mistake in which the process was carried out on the entire work, instead of just the intro text.

The company also said that the error has been corrected.

Have you noticed other outrageous errors in ebooks recently? Share your finds with us in the comments. You can also email us your finds (technology@huffingtonpost.com) or tweet them at us (@huffposttech).
 
From Our Partners