There is no internal light source in the Nook Simple Touch so the answer is no unless a light is on near it. This product was specifically designed to work well with artificial lights, daylight and especially in direct sunlight and it works just beautifully in direct sun, my main reason for purchasing it.
oh oh, you got me there Christon, I have never purchased a Kindle book so I can't honestly answer your question, perhaps call your local Barnes and Noble store and they could answer that question for you! I love my simple touch e-reader, it is the best thing! I can read all hours of the night without waking the family!
You can. The PDFs can be loaded just as they are, but there is no zooming for them, which makes them pretty useless. I downloaded a program called Calibre to my mac (they make it for windows too). You can convert the PDFs to ePubs. Then you can highlight and take notes just like the books on the nook. Of course these don't sync to other nook apps or devices. It's not a perfect solution, but it works.
It looks like you need a Nook Color, HD, or HD+ See: http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/NOOK-Talk/Need-some-clarification-regarding-reading-CBR-files/td-p/1466234 See also: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=104749