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Paper books: my low-tech treat

I love reading on my Nook or iPad. I’m a techie, gadget girl at heart, but beyond the cool factor of carrying an entire library of books on one slim device, I love the convenience.

Finished reading a book while on vacation? No problem, just open another. Or download a new one—as if I’ll ever get through my massive to-be-read pile. Instant gratification. No waiting. No worries about losing my place when my sticky flag loses its grip, or holding down pages with my fingers while on the cross-trainer, and the rest of the world doesn’t have to know what I’m reading while I sit at the doctor’s office.

I can even read through my own WIP without lugging around my laptop!

And I can’t ignore the environmental impact of an e-reader. Once manufactured, an iPad has a very small carbon footprint, using less than 12 kilowatt-hours per year. Plus, no trucks, planes, or boats are needed to ship my books, and no massive distribution center is required to box them up.

Yet every once in a while, I crave the paper.

It’s not just the smell of the pages.

It’s not just the feel of the paper under my fingers, or the sound it makes when I turn the page.

It’s not even the heft of the book in my hands.

After working most of the day in front of a screen—sometimes more than one—I need a break. The iPad can’t give me that. Even the Nook with its e-ink, paper-like look can’t give me that. Sure, once I’m engrossed in the story, I’ll probably forget, but there are times when I can’t face another screen.

Those are the times when I want a good old analog, paper-in-my-hands book. It’s my low-tech treat.

Luckily, I still have quite a stash.

Photo credit: OLD BOOK © Peter Dolinsky |

Bonus Wednesday: From Scrivener to Your Nook

I’ve had a few questions about how to save a Scrivener file to view on a Nook (for iBooks/iPad, see link at bottom). Good news: the process—known as side-loading—is pretty simple.

Export Manuscript from Scrivener

  1. To start, compile your manuscript (see the Compile post for more info).
    • I recommend the Novel (Standard Manuscript Format) format, which you may then modify as desired.
    • In the Compile As drop-down box, choose ePub e-book (.epub). [If you’re exporting for Kindle, choose the Kindle e-book (.mobi) option instead.]
  2. Click Export and choose the location where you want to save your file.

Copy the EPUB File to Your Nook

The instructions below are for a Mac, but the process is basically the same in Windows using My Computer.

  1. Plug your Nook into the computer via the USB cable.
  2. Open Finder. Your Nook should show up in the Devices column on the left.
  3. If it’s not already highlighted, select Nook in the Devices column to display the Nook’s folders.
  4. To make it easy, open a second Finder window and locate your EPUB file.
  5. Now drag the EPUB file to the My Documents folder on your Nook. Alternatively, you could copy and paste instead of dragging.

Drag Scrivener file on right to Nook's My Documents folder on left

Reading the EPUB File on Your Nook

  1. Eject your Nook by clicking the Eject button (down arrow with bar) next to Nook in the Devices column.
  2. Tap the ⋂ button twice to activate your menu screen.
  3. Select My Library. If the My Documents screen is not active, select View My Documents from the list.
  4. If your book is not in the list, select Check for new content.
  5. Your file should appear in the My Documents list, ready for reading.

A quick note on annotations and bookmarks. As you’re reading your manuscript, you may want to make notes using the annotations feature (Highlights and Notes, Add Highlight or Note). I recommend that you also bookmark each page on which you make a note because the Nook’s Go To feature works on bookmarks, but not annotations.

For info on transferring your project to iBooks, check out Ara Grigorian's post.

Need more help? Sign up for an online class, read more Scrivener articles, or schedule a private training session. If you don't already have it, you can download Scrivener here.

Good luck and happy reading!

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