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Reading on Your NOOK Tablet and Beyond

This chapter shows how to read books and other e-content on your NOOK Tablet or Nook app on other platforms.
This chapter is from the book

Although your NOOK Tablet has many unique features and capabilities, its primary purpose is for reading ebooks and other content. One of the benefits of owning a NOOK Tablet is that you can carry a complete library with you everywhere you go. If you don’t happen to have your NOOK Tablet with you, you can also read your ebooks on your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Android phone, and Blackberry.

Various forms of content are available to read on your NOOK Tablet—NOOK Books and other EPUB files, along with PDFs; Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files; and plain text files. Appendix A, “Understanding ebook Formats,” explains more about the details of ebook formats. You are probably already familiar with Microsoft documents, though you can use either the DOC or DOCX formats (and the corresponding XLS or XLSX and PPT or PPTX formats) used in all versions of Word.

Browsing Your Library

The two main places for content on your NOOK Tablet are Home screen and Library. The Home screen is a quick and easy way to see content that you are reading now or access often. When I am reading a book, I make sure it appears on the Home screen, but when I finish it, I go to the Library to find my next read.

The Home Screen

The Home screen includes the Daily Shelf, covers you have placed on the Home pages, and other ways to access your content. (See the section “The Home Screen” in Chapter 1, “Getting Started with Your NOOK Tablet,” for a complete review of the options.)

The Daily Shelf shows the most recent downloads on the left with less recent downloads on the right. Swipe left or right to see more of the Daily Shelf.

To open an ebook, magazine, or newspaper from the Home screen, tap the cover. The ebook, magazine, or newspaper opens to the last page that you were on when you closed it. However, NOOK Kids books always open from the beginning.

The Home screen has three Home pages. (You can see which page you are on at the top, just beneath the Keep Reading bar by the three dots—the white one is the Home page you are on.) You can add icons to the Home pages (not the Daily Shelf) by tapping and dragging a cover from the Daily Shelf. In the Library, you can press and hold a cover and then tap Add to Home from the menu that appears.

To remove an item from a Home page, press and hold the cover. Tap Remove from Home from the menu that appears. This also works for the Daily Shelf.

To place an item on a different Home page, press and drag the cover over to the far right or left edge of the screen. The cover will slide to the next page. Release the cover.

Finally, you can remove an item from the Daily Shelf by pressing and holding the cover. Tap Remove from Home from the menu that appears.

The Library

The Library contains all the content you’ve purchased from B&N and the content you have sideloaded (see Figure 3.1). This includes not only ebooks you’ve purchased, but also magazine and newspaper subscriptions, sample books, videos, music, Microsoft documents, PDFs, ebooks purchased from other sources, and free books downloaded from B&N and other sites.

Figure 3.1

Figure 3.1 The Library where all your books and content are stored.

To go to the Library, tap Library on the Quick Nav Bar. When at the Library, a set of buttons to choose from are always available:

  • Books: Tapping this displays the full list of ebooks on your NOOK Tablet, whether from B&N or other sources.
  • Magazines: Tapping this displays the full list of magazines on your NOOK Tablet, whether from B&N or other sources.
  • Newspapers: Tapping this displays the full list of newspapers on your NOOK Tablet, whether from B&N or other sources.
  • Apps: Tapping this displays the apps you have installed on your NOOK Tablet.
  • Kids: Tapping this displays the apps and books categorized for kids.
  • My Stuff: Tapping this gives you access to shelves you’ve made, your files, LendMe, Archived items, and Everything Else, which means content not supported on the NOOK Tablet (some textbooks, files not supported, and so on).

If you purchase a book using the Shop on your NOOK Tablet, that book is automatically downloaded to your NOOK Tablet within a few minutes. If you purchase an ebook from B&N using your computer, the ebook is added to My NOOK Library on bn.com, but it isn’t downloaded to your NOOK Tablet automatically—though the cover appears. You can tell it was not downloaded because a green Download icon appears on the bottom of the cover. Tap the cover to download the NOOK Book.

Many options exist here, so work your way through each button and the myriad actions you can take in interacting with the Library.


This is the default location after you tap Library from the Quick Nav Bar or Books, My Library from the Media Bar. If you have tapped Newspapers or one of the other buttons, and then tapping Library from the Quick Nav Bar takes you to the last button you were on (see Figure 3.2). Note that all files placed in the microSD card’s My Files\Books folder are shown here along with all NOOK Books and documents in the NOOK Tablet’s My Files\Books folder or NOOK Tablet’s Digital Editions folder.

Figure 3.2

Figure 3.2 Sort your library by one of these choices.

At the top of the screen, you have the Sort and View buttons. Tapping the Sort button enables you to sort your ebooks by Title, Author, or Most Recent, which means either read or added (see Figure 3.2). The View by default is Grid view. Scroll up or down to view the library. The Grid view option is a series of nine squares (see Figure 3.3). Below that, you have Shelf view (you swipe left or right to view the entire shelf), Large List view, and Small List view. You can work with various Sorts and Views. For example, if you have 10 novels by Donna Leon and you sort by Author and view by Shelf view, all of Donna Leon’s books appear on a shelf. Large List view shows a medium size cover, the full title, and the author. Small List view does the same, but with a small cover.

Figure 3.3

Figure 3.3 View your library in one of these views.

In general, sorting by title and using Shelf view is impractical (it’s essentially a Large List view) because most titles are different. Table 3.1 shows some useful combinations.

Table 3.1 Recommended Sort and View Combinations




Most Recent


Shows the ebooks in Today, Yesterday, anddate shelves



Shows the ebooks in shelves by author



Shows the ebooks with large covers in a scrollable grid format


Large/Small List

Shows the ebooks with covers and author information in a scrollable list format

From the Books part of the Library, you can interact with your ebooks in two ways. First, you can just tap the cover to open the ebook. Second, if you tap and hold the cover, a pop-up menu appears (see Figure 3.4) with several options:

Figure 3.4

Figure 3.4 The pop-up menu that appears after pressing and holding a cover.

  • Read: This option is only available if you have downloaded the NOOK Book. Tapping this option opens the ebook for reading.
  • Download: This option is only available if you have not yet downloaded the NOOK Book. Tapping this option downloads the NOOK Book assuming you have a Wi-Fi connection enabled.
  • View Details: Tapping this option opens a screen with many options (see Figure 3.5). See “The View Details Screen” section for more about this screen and its options.
    Figure 3.5

    Figure 3.5 The View Details screen.

  • Full Version Available: This option appears for NOOK Book samples. Tapping it takes you to the View Details screen.
  • Recommend: Just like Recommend It from the View Details screen, you can recommend an ebook. For more information on the Recommend feature, see Chapter 10, “Using the Social Features of Your NOOK Tablet.”
  • Add to Home: This option lets you add it to the Home page with a single tap.
  • Add to Shelf: This option lets you add it to a shelf. An Add to Shelf screen appears. You can tap an existing shelf to add that ebook to that shelf. Alternatively, you can tap Add to a New Shelf. The Create New Shelf screen appears. Type in the shelf name and tap Save. The shelf is created and that ebook is added to that shelf. You can add ebooks to multiple shelves.
  • Remove from Shelf: This option lets you remove the ebook from a shelf. If you tap Remove from Shelf, the Select Self screen appears and displays all the shelves this ebook is in. Tap the shelf you want to remove this ebook from.
  • Archive: This option lets you archive a NOOK Book. This removes it from ready access, though it does not remove it from your My NOOK Library at B&N. If the NOOK Book is already archived, this option reads Unarchive. Tapping it unarchives the NOOK Book.
  • LendMe: As in the View Details screen, you can lend a NOOK Book from this menu. For more information on the LendMe feature, see Chapter 5, “Lending and Borrowing Books with LendMe on Your NOOK Tablet.”
  • Delete: This option lets you delete items. If it is B&N content (for example, a NOOK book), the content will be deleted from your NOOK Library—meaning you cannot redownload it or read it on other devices. If the content is additional content that you added (for example, a Project Gutenberg ebook), the content is deleted from the device—you can put it back on later. In short, be careful with this option. When you tap delete, you are asked to confirm that you do indeed want to delete it.

Books, magazines, and newspapers purchased from B&N often have notices on the cover regarding them:

  • New: This is a recent NOOK Book you have purchased and not yet downloaded.
  • LendMe: This NOOK Book can be lent to a friend.
  • Borrowed: You have borrowed this NOOK Book from a friend. The number of days left (out of 14) is in a small, gray circle at the bottom right of the cover.
  • Lent: You have lent this NOOK Book to a friend. The number of days left (out of 14) is in a small, gray circle at the bottom right of the cover.
  • Sample: This is only a portion of the NOOK Book to give you a chance to review before you buy.
  • Download: The NOOK Book is not yet downloaded. Tap the cover to download it.

The View Details Screen

B&N has expanded the number of actions you can take from the View Details screen for B&N content. If it is a NOOK Book, you see the star rating from B&N. Tapping the Read button opens the ebook for reading. (Alternatively, if you have not downloaded the NOOK Book yet, you can tap Download to download the NOOK Book.)

Tap LendMe to see the LendMe screen. For more information on the LendMe feature, see Chapter 5.

Tap Share to see options for Recommend, Rate and Review, Like on Facebook, and LendMe (if available for that particular title). For more information on the Recommend, Rate and Review, and Like on Facebook features, see Chapter 10. For more information on the LendMe feature, see Chapter 5.

The Overview tab provides text describing the ebook. If you tap the up-pointing arrow at the bottom, you see other available B&N content by other customers who have purchased the same item, by the same author, or in the same series (see Figure 3.6). Tap a cover or icon to be taken to a View Details screen for that item (including an option to purchase or sample the content).

Figure 3.6

Figure 3.6 The View Details screen showing what other customers have purchased.

If the NOOK Book is a sample or borrowed (for more information related to shopping and sampling NOOK Books, see Chapter 11, “Shopping and Visiting B&N on Your NOOK Tablet”), you can tap Read Sample (or just Read for borrowed NOOK Books) to read the sample or tap the Price button and then tap Confirm to purchase the NOOK Book.

Tap Manage to Archive, Unarchive, or Delete the content.

Tap Customer Reviews to see what other customers have posted about the NOOK Book (see Figure 3.7). From here you can “like” the book on BN.com, write and post a review, or just read what others have to say. You can sort the comments by tapping the Most Helpful drop-down list and tapping another option. If you find any of the reviews helpful (or not), you can tap Yes or No for that review. If you think the review is off base for any number of reasons (see Figure 3.8), tap Report This Review, tap the reason, and then tap Send to report the review to B&N, who may remove the review.

Figure 3.7

Figure 3.7 The Customer Reviews tab.

Figure 3.8

Figure 3.8 The options when you flag a review as problematic.

Tap Editorial Reviews to see what professional reviewers say (for example, excerpts from The New York Times Book Review or Kirkus Reviews).


This is where B&N places all your magazines (as opposed to newspapers) that you purchase from B&N (see Figure 3.9). Also, if you placed any files in either the NOOK Tablet’s Magazines folder or in the microSD card’s My Files\Magazines folder, those documents are shown here as well. You have the same options here as you do with the Books section.

Figure 3.9

Figure 3.9 The Magazines screen.

For magazine subscriptions, you probably have multiple issues here. (More than one cover is stacked one on top of the other.) To open and read an issue, tap the cover, which opens a screen and shows all available issues. Tap the cover of the issue you want to open and read.


This is where B&N places all your newspapers (as opposed to magazines) that you purchase from B&N (see Figure 3.10). Also, if you have placed any files in either the NOOK Tablet’s Newspapers folder or in the microSD card’s My Files\Newspapers folder, those documents are shown here as well. You have the same options here as you do with the Books section.

Figure 3.10

Figure 3.10 The Newspapers screen.

For newspaper subscriptions, you probably have multiple issues here. (More than one cover is stacked one on top of the other.) To open and read an issue, tap the cover, which opens a screen and shows all available issues. Tap the cover of the issue you want to open and read.


This is where B&N places all your apps that you purchase from B&N (see Figure 3.11). Tap Check for Updates to see if any apps have been updated and install those updates. See Chapter 8, “Streaming Netflix and Hulu Plus Videos and Playing Videos,” and Chapter 9, “Using NOOK Apps and Surfing the Web,” for more information on apps and the video apps specifically.

Figure 3.11

Figure 3.11 The Apps screen.


This is where B&N places all your content (apps, books, whatever) that you purchase from B&N (see Figure 3.12) related to kids. See Chapter 4, “Reading and Using NOOK Books for Kids Features,” for more information about NOOK Books for kids.

Figure 3.12

Figure 3.12 The Kids screen.

My Stuff

This menu enables you to select from several other ways to interact with your library. Here is where you access archived content, content you have sideloaded, shelves you have used to organize your content, and the LendMe functions.

My Shelves

The NOOK Tablet enables you to organize your ebooks into categories, or shelves, that you can name (see Figure 3.13). If you have a lot of ebooks and you want to categorize them beyond just author name, title, and most recent, this is how you can do it.

Figure 3.13

Figure 3.13 The My Shelves view.

My Shelves shows you any existing shelves. (Two exist by default: Favorites and Archived.) To add a shelf, tap Create New Shelf. The Create New Shelf screen appears. Type the name of the shelf and tap Save.

You can also edit existing shelves by tapping Edit next to the shelf you want to edit (see Figure 3.14). Here you can do several things. A listing of titles appears. To add titles to this shelf, tap the check box next to the title so that a check mark appears. Tap Save to add those titles to the shelf. Tapping Remove, instead, removes those titles from the shelf. Tap Rename to rename the shelf.

Figure 3.14

Figure 3.14 Edit existing shelves.

My Files

My Files lets you access files on the NOOK Tablet internal memory or on the microSD card. The view defaults to the files on your NOOK Tablet. Tap Memory Card, which appears only if a microSD card is installed, to access the files there.

The folder structure on the NOOK Tablet and on the microSD card is straightforward, as shown in Figure 3.15. You can view either the folders and files with small or large folder icons by tapping the View icon. Books, Magazines, and Newspapers have already been covered because they appear in the appropriate locations in the Library.

Figure 3.15

Figure 3.15 Two views of the My Shelves screen.

Interacting with documents, music, and videos is covered in the appropriate sections throughout this book.


For more information on the LendMe feature, see Chapter 5.

The Sync button forces a sync with My NOOK Library, downloading any new content, and so on. You can also tap the Search Library box to search your library for particular books and such.

Everything Else

This option shows you all content not supported on the NOOK Tablet. Examples include NOOK Textbooks, some magazine content, and ebooks in the incorrect format.


This is a listing of all your archived content. When you tap Archive in the View Details screen or tap Archive after pressing and holding the cover, you relegate the content to here. If you are also on BN.com at My NOOK Library and archive an app or book, it can be found here.

The goal of this list is to provide quick and easy access to archived material so that you can unarchive it if necessary.

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Last Update: November 17, 2020