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June 04, 2012

Nook edition of War and Peace changes ‘kindled’ to ‘Nookd.’ Oops!

Oh, the marvels of finding and replacing text automagically. It’s a command that exists in every modern word processor, and is incredibly powerful and simple to use. But as I’ve personally experienced it before (and perhaps you as well) it could deal real hidden damage when not used carefully – replacing words that shouldn’t have been replaced.

This was the unfortunate case for Barnes & Noble, the company behind the Nook ebook reader, when a blogger realized that the word “kindled’’ was being erroneously replaced by “Nookd” – an obvious attempt to adapt the Kindle version of the book to a Nook version. The blogger, Philip Howard writes,

“I had read about half of the novel when I was given the gift of a Nook, the e-reader from Barnes and Noble. Although I am committed to supporting my neighborhood independent book store (Books to be Red), and enjoying honest-to-goodness books, the .99 Nook edition was so lightweight that it has made reading War and Peace a genuine pleasure. For those of you who have not tackled this tome as yet, it is a page-turner.

As I was reading, I came across this sentence: “It was as if a light had been Nookd in a carved and painted lantern….” Thinking this was simply a glitch in the software, I ignored the intrusive word and continued reading. 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.

For the sentence above I discovered this genuine translation: “It was as if a light had been kindled in a carved and painted lantern….”

It’s not confirmed who’s at fault here, though it is most likely the publishing company Superior Formatting Publishing. It’s a silly mistake if you ask me. Why would the Kindle version contain any reference to “Kindled” anyways?

Luckily, we used Project Gutenberg’s for our War and Peace poster so there is no similar folly…unless somebody wanted to replace any original references from “Gutenberg” to “Project Gutenberg!”

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I found this edited photo to be hilarious in the original article by Venturebeat.