Monday, December 27, 2010

library books on the nook

I got a Nook for Christmas! The 3G/WiFi one, which is what I wanted since we don't have wireless at home, with the Alice in Wonderland case. I am a very lucky girl.

When I wrote about the Nook earlier this month (see post), I mentioned that library ebook-friendliness was one of its biggest benefits. I have to admit that I had a bit of trouble getting library ebooks to work on my Nook (it's quite easy if you do everything in the right order, but if not, it's a huge headache) so I thought I'd post about what I did wrong and how I fixed it for the benefit of future new users frantically searching the internet for a solution to their problem.

OK, first you need to know that even though you are getting a PDF or EPUB book from the library, the file will most likely end with ACSM. You can just drag those files onto your nook "my documents" folder like you could if you wanted to load a normal PDF on the Nook. ACSM stands for "Adobe Content System Message" - rather than being the ebook itself, it is your authorization for access to the book. You need to use Adobe Digital Editions (which handles rights management) as a middleman. Here's a video from nooktalk that goes over this and how to setup ADE for use with your Nook. As I mentioned above, follow the instructions in order and you will have no problem.

Here's what I did wrong. Before I worried about library books I decided to try getting a GoogleBook onto my Nook. You need ADE for that so when I get up ADE on my computer I used an AdobeID associated with my blogging gmail account (which is NOT the email address I use for my Barnes and Noble account). I've read that having your Adobe ADE authorization account information match your B&N account information isn't necessary, but (at least in my experience) it is.

With my ADE set up and authorized to that gmail account, I could get the library books downloaded and onto the Nook, but when I tried to read them I would get a "user not activated" error. After wasting a huge amount of time on the internet trying to figure out the solution (as well as multiple un- and re-installs of ADE), I determined that 3 things were necessary to fix the problem.
  1. 1. Update my AdobeID to match my B&N account -
    I didn't need to create a new account, once you are logged into Adobe you can change the email address used as your login)
  2. Get my ADE to associate with the new AdobeID -
    the magic combination is Control-Shift-D, hit those keys while ADE is open and you can deauthorize your ADE and then authorize using the correct AdobeID
  3. Get my Nook to "forget" its Adobe-authorization -
    Figuring out this problem (and then its solution) was my big hangup. When the Nook is connected to your computer and you can access its drive, delete these two folders (contents and all): "Digital Editions" and ".adobe-digital-editions". Don't worry, the only thing you'll lose are the files you can't access anyway (all your other stuff is stored in different folders). Once they are gone, the next time ADE will meet the Nook as if for the first time and let you authorize the Nook to the proper AdobeID. Ta da!
Hope this helps.


  1. What is the availability of new releases with library downloads -- comparable to print? Could one pretty much keep up with new releases just with a library card & the nook?

  2. Karen, I do a lot of interlibrary loans through the local library system (BECPL). Can I get ILL books downloaded onto an ereader?

  3. Midge, I'm not sure about ILL and how it works with ebooks. I expect that most of the books requested through ILL would not be available in a downloadable version, though journal article and other scan-on-demand-type ILLs may be. You might try getting a hold of someone who does ILL for the system to ask.
    Also, if you don't have one already, you can get a library card for NYPL and they have lots of ebooks.

    Nancy, it seems like it. I took a look new releases on Amazon and then what was available at NYPL. For example, the new Jack Ryan book: there are 15 copies of the EPUB format book (with 31 on the waiting list) and 6 copies of the PDF (with 9 people on the waiting list). BUT they don't yet have the most recent Vampire Academy book (which came out on 12/7)

  4. Thank you so much...It was taking me forever.

  5. I've had mine since june and I haven't purchased a book yet!! I love the library loans!!

  6. How does an ereader read for you? Adam has wanted to get me one the past two years however I have warned him off because I do not think I will like them. I don't even like to read my research online, I print it out and fiddle with it on paper. The Alice and Wonderland cover is neato!

  7. Karina, so far I'm really liking it and I think you will too actually. I don't think I'd want to use it for something I knew I'd want to annotate, but for leisure reading it is great.

    I really wasn't sure I'd like an ereader, but once I started investigating them seriously I warmed up to the idea.

    If you don't have anyone nearby who has an ereader, you could always go to Barnes and Noble and play with the Nook (each of the ones here has a big display and usually a salesperson right there to answer questions).

  8. I have just started seriously thinking about getting a NOOK. In fact, I just wrote a post about my question that I will be publishing on my blog tomorrow. Your post is really making me think more about getting one. I will have to go over to B&N tomorrow and look at them in person.