Getting Library Ebooks for Your Nook Simple Touch or Similar E-Reader

By Jamie W. Wed, December 19, 2012

While Nook tablets like the Nook Color, Nook HD, or Nook HD+ are treated like an Android tablet (see instructions here), downloading to a Nook Simple Touch or other dedicated e-reader (like the Kobo, some Sony e-readers, as well as others) is done a bit differently.

Downloading to a dedicated e-reader requires that you start the process of searching for and checking out an ebook by visiting one of our ebook platforms on your computer. You will also need to download the free Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) software to your PC or Mac. Using our Overdrive collection as an example, once you check out an ebook, hit "Download," and it will open in your new ADE software. The first time you use your software you will be required to register with a free Adobe ID. If you do not have an Adobe ID, you will be prompted to create one online. Then you plug your Nook or other dedicated e-reader in to your computer with the USB cable. You will be prompted to authorize your device with ADE the first time you plug it in. Then you can drag and drop your new ebook in to your e-reader in the ADE software.

Here's a video that walks you through the process.


The Nook Simple Touch - it's simple!
The Nook Simple Touch - it's simple!


Three questions, please: First, can I set up the system to use a library-borrowed Nook on two computers at the same time: say, one at home and one mobile? - Second, if I set up my library-borrowed Nook on my computer at work and then later change jobs, can I transfer whatever I need to function with the Nook to a different computer? - Third, can I take advantage of the e-reader systems while out of Philadelphia/out of the country: on a library-borrowed device? ...on all other NON library-borrowed devices? - Thanks for taking the time to respond.
Joe - Philadelphia Sun, March 31, 2013
Hi Joe - Question one: Yes you can. The number of computeres or mobile devices you can read on is determined by how many times you can authorize a comouter or device with your Adobe ID - not really by the library or our ebook partners. Currently, Adobe allows you to use the same ID to authorize 6 computers or devices with the same ID. More information can be found at Adobe's help site under 'Content Portability': Thanks!
Jamie W - Philadlephia Mon, April 01, 2013
Joe - Question 2: Currently Kindle ebook lending is not available outside of the US. You should be able to download ebooks for a Nook or other mobile device while you travel though. Thank you.
Jamie W - Philadelphia Mon, April 01, 2013
Want to look at e-books.
Rich Elder - Hastings, Pa Sat, July 13, 2013
I have the adobe reader, the adobe ID and when I download the book it will not do so, it says I am not authorized. Help
laura - phila Tue, December 10, 2013
Hi Laura - Usually these types of errors are caused by an issue with the authorization of your Adobe Digital Editions. Take a look at this help article from Overdrive -- -- if that doesn't work for you write to our librarians for one-on-one assistance here --
Jamie W - Philadelphia Tue, December 10, 2013
My nook is saying user not activated when I try to read my book
Fionna - Philadelphia Thu, July 10, 2014
Hello Fionna - Sorry to hear you're having trouble. That error is usually caused when either the Nook or your Adobe Digital Editions software is not registered properly. I will paste a link to some tips to correct it at the end of this message but if you continue having trouble send us an email at the 'Contact Us' at the top of the page so we can work one-on-one:
Jamie W - Philadelphia Thu, July 10, 2014
suddenly, when I try to transfer books from my computer to my nook, I am getting the error message, "failed to write destination file". can you help me with this problem? thank you, ruth
ruth anderson - pinehurst, nc Sat, December 13, 2014
Why can't we just easily browse ebooks on this website and check them out, to download later on tablet? For a library, you make looking at your website completely frustrating. Just let us browse without having to click through a million useless pages!
Robert Smith - Philadelphia Sat, January 24, 2015
Hello Mr Smith - Thanks for your comment. I am sorry you're feeling frustrated with our site. Our librarians and web developers strive to make our site as easy to use as possible. Unfortunately, we are not able to host ebooks on our library's site directly. With very few exceptions, publishers do not sell their ebooks directly to libraries but only to distributors who then license books to us and then host the ebooks on their pages. That is why our ebooks, while discoverable in our catalog, must be checked out from our distributor partners at Overdrive, Freading, EBSCO, and other platforms we use. We are working to streamline this process but we ask for your patience. In the meantime, if you have specific questions or need help getting ebooks please contact us at
Jamie W - Philadelphia Mon, January 26, 2015
I have the Nook Glowlight. I was wondering if, instead of using a PC, I could use a tablet to download the books and transfer them to the Nook? Could I use an android or would it need to be a windows based tablet? Thanks!
Sam - Philadelphia Thu, March 12, 2015
Hello Sam - Unfortunately, you would need to use a PC or Mac to transfer ebooks to your Nook. You'll find instructions to do so here: However, you could also read on your Android table, if you choose to do so. You will find instructions for that here: You can not transfer your ebooks between a tablet and a Nook though.
Jamie W - Philadelphia Thu, March 12, 2015
I have used the library site for getting ebooks for a long time & it worked but over the past month when I click on a ebook-then transfer it to ADE(show it downloaded) then I download it to my Nook-I see a Error Message saying I returned the book & no one can figure out why it started doing this
Susan - Charlotte, NC Sat, July 02, 2016

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