Free eBooks? Really?
Yup, you may be able to "borrow" some of the latest eBooks for free from your local library to read on your nook or nookColor. Can't do this on a Kindle!
The nook supports the Adobe Digital Rights Management (DRM) format for eBooks. Basically it's a copy-protection technique they employ to ensure you can't pass around your e-books to all your friends. The nice thing about B&N using the DRM technique from Adobe is widely used by many other e-book providers - potentially even your local library!
A company named OverDrive provides support for distributing digital content like e-books. Overdrive uses the same Adobe copy protection scheme that the nook and nookColor support which is great news for us. A large growing number of libraries across the US employ Overdrive to allow their library patrons to "rent" e-books. Thankfully, my local library is one of them! So what does this mean for me as a nook owner? It means I can download books from my local library's "Overdrive" site (ePub or PDF format) and move them to my nook or nookColor for reading!
Another company named "NetLibrary" provides a similar service using the same content protection (but a PDF format).
So how do you get started? First check with your local library and find out if they support Overdrive or NetLibrary. Typically your library site will have an "eMedia" section with the details. There might be an additional signup before you can do eBooks, my library did not. Next you'll want to download Adobe Digital Editions (ADE). This is the tool you'll need to download, view, and transfer the library eBooks to the nook/nookColor.
Here are the basics:
- Download/Install the Tool
- Download/Open a book from the library site. This will import the book into the Tool.
- Plug in your nook and drag your new book to the nook icon.
I'd strongly recommend watching our video tutorial on the ADE tool before installing it.
The ADE tool is pretty flaky with the nook/nookColor. You'll often get error messages about the older formatted B&N books not being licensed, and sometimes the tool needs some "convincing" to do what you want. The good news is we have a troubleshooting guide that details most of the issues and fixes.
If you run into trouble be sure to post your issue in our forum and we'll try and help you out.
Everyone loves to troubleshoot device and software problems while trying to do simple things ... like read a book, right? Could Adobe Digital Editions be the tool nook and nookColor owners love to hate?
First, if you are just getting started with the nook or nookColor we have a video tutorial to cover the basics. There are a few things if you don't do right can cause problems later. The video covers tool installation, setup, and copying books.
If you are only purchasing B&N content or downloading books that are NOT copy protected don't waste your time with this silly tool, you don't need it! This tool is used for downloading copy protected content from online eBook retailers and many local libraries. If you are looking for a good eBook management tool for your computer this is not the one, checkout Calibre instead.
Looking for eBook deals from non B&N sources? Checkout the TOP 50 eBooks at Kobobooks!
The rest of this article will cover troubleshooting ADE when it doesn't work correctly.
Device Missing or Error Messages?
Nook not showing up in ADE? Getting errors like "User not activated"?We'd suggest the following steps to "reset" the software:
- Connect the nook and click on the Nook drive (Finder or Explorer)
- Find and delete the .adobe-digital-editions file ... NOTE: If you can't find this file on the nook it could be because your computer is setup to hide system files. To show system files read how for Mac OSX and Windows
- Restart ADE, Your nook should be visible
If your nook is still not visible ... take these additional steps
- Connect the nook and click on the Nook drive (Finder or Explorer)
- Find the “Digital Editions” folder and delete it
- Restart ADE
- nook should no be visible
Error Messages when plugging in nook and missing book covers?
Yeah, nothing is wrong with your eBooks from B&N. While B&N uses Adobe technology their books aren't compatible with ADE (ironic eh?). Thankfully most versions of epub files are compatible with your Nook.
Can't open your Book Download?
Well first you should know you won't be downloading the book itself, you'll download a link to the book. That might sound confusing but let's keep it simple. When you download from Kobo or your public library your browser should give you the option to open or save. The easiest thing to do is to open the download file. As a matter of fact if you are given the option to always open this type with this program, choose YES or CHECK the box (depends on browser and OS). This will launch the Adobe tool and let you copy it to the nook (see tutorial video).
If you don't get an option to open it that's ok. Just go to your downloads directory and find the file. It will end in .ascm - just double-click it!
SummaryHopefully our video and the troubleshooting tips above get you back in action using non B&N content on your nook or nookColor. Please post ADE troubleshooting questions in the nookTalk Forum.
The first nookColor rooting mechanisms were really best for experienced computer pros willing to follow very detailed instructions. There is a new mechanism called an "auto-nooter" that executes all these steps for you and is probably the first root tool that's easy enough for an average user to follow. I've summarized the steps that are outlined in detail on the Nookdevs site. If you are basic computer skills and a serious desire for the Kindle app or Angry Birds on your nook you are in luck!
Disclaimer: This could void your warranty or destroy your device. Reality is it's pretty safe and easy to undo but you've been warned.
1) Make sure you've updated to 1.0.1
If you aren't familiar with how to update your nookColor to 1.0.1 just go the the B&N downloads for NookColor and copy the zip file to your nook directory (don't unzip it). Eject your nook and wait about 10 minutes and it should start the update and reboot.
2) Download the Auto Nooter tool and use a special tool to write it to an SD card.
The instructions on the nookDev page are pretty detailed just read them carefully. The tool you are using "dd" can do something bad to your computer hard drive if you specify the wrong drive! Just read carefully, it's not hard. If you are on Windows you'll need to download a "dd" tool to create the image on your SD card. You cannot do this operation with the MicroSD card in the nook (image will be created but root will not work). NOTE: Your SD Card will be deleted.
3) Start the nookColor with the special SD card and let it do the magic.
The nookDev page has some good post-install instructions but honestly mine didn't follow the path they had very well. The big deal is to get your google id setup in the tool for the market, etc. It does seem after installing from the Market a reboot is required before the new apps show up on "Extras" page.
- nookColor has been rooted
- The nook 1.5 Firmware Update - Snore
- nookColor Review - First Look
- nookcolor, the B&N iPad?
- B&N nookStudy Review
- New nook app for the iPhone & iPad
- iPad, nook, Kobo, or Kindle, which to buy!?
- nook versus nook Wifi (Lite), which to buy?
- The nook New Packaging
- Donating eBooks to the Library?
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New to the nook?
- Adding e-reader Memory
- Places to find e-books
- Find Answers in our FAQ
- Using Nook with ADE Video
- Troubleshooting ADE Issues
- Cases and Accessories
- Ask Questions in our Forum