TechKnow Challenge

Getting Started with an E-Reader

By Pat Jurgens

          Hoping to propel me into 21st century technology, and perhaps motivated by wanting to keep my reading light out of his eyes, my dear husband gave me a Nook Simple Touch e-reader. He thought I’d just turn it on and start reading e-books. Little did he know there’s a fair amount of prep work for the nontechnical user.

The e-reader is a great gadget to be sure — a library of books in the palm of your hand. It’s lightweight, small enough to slip into a purse or have handy on the night table for sleepless hours. The display is easy to read; fonts, margins and spacing are adjustable. You can choose to enable Wi-Fi and screen savers, link to social networks or email, search for word definitions, highlight text, create bookmarks, find words within the text and go to a certain page. Oh, and read!  But first you must set up the device                                                     .


  1. Charge the Nook for three      to four hours per manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Select your time zone.
  3. Find and connect to a Wi-Fi      network.
  4. Register your Nook at      Barnes & Noble website so you can shop for books.


If you have trouble understanding what to do, you are not alone.  Contact Barnes & Noble by phone or website at  The online tutorial videos are very helpful. There is also a user guide, and an online tech support chat. Don’t be afraid to contact them with the most basic questions. Mine were: How do I find the menu? How do I create a bookmark?  How do I get back to where I started?


  • Get familiar with the touch screen before trying to download books.
  • Find the on/ off button.
  • Locate the menu button.
  • Practice tapping,      swiping, scrolling, press or hold finger on the screen and see what it      does.
  • Explore menus for      functions such as: search, library or settings.


Don’t try to do everything in one sitting. This is a new learning curve and can be quite confusing. After a few warm-up sessions, when you’re ready to try an e-book, put the e-reader temporarily aside, but leave it turned on.

Go to your computer and to the Barnes & Noble website. Find the NOOK Books tab and browse to find an e-book that you would like to buy and read. If you have not yet entered a credit card, you will need to log in and do that. There are some free books, but most are for purchase.

Select the title you want (be sure you select an e-book.) Click “Buy Now” and follow the instructions until your transaction is complete.

Then leave the computer screen open to the book you just purchased and go back to your Nook.  Be sure the Wi-Fi is connected, and in your Nook click on “library.” Within a few seconds the purchased book will appear on your Nook. Magic!


Using your computer, go to your public library’s website. There is generally a special section for e-books.

Phone and ask for a staff member familiar with downloading e-books onto an e-reader. It can be a little different, depending on the device you own – Nook, Kindle, etc. Getting a knowledgeable person to walk you through the process is immensely helpful.

Search the library site for online tutorials and downloading instructions. Many libraries also offer special classes on downloading e-books.  (If you don’t have an e-reader, your library may have them available to check out along with e-books.)

The process of downloading e-books from the public library is more complex than from Barnes & Noble.

It involves:

  1. Authorizing and      downloading Adobe Digital Editions software to your computer.
  2. Selecting an epub-book at      the public library website, putting it in your e-Cart and checking it out.      (You’ll need your library card number.)
  3. Attaching the Nook to the      USB port of your computer. (Nook should be turned on.)
  4. Dragging the icon of the      book selected on the computer onto the icon of the Nook that shows up on      the screen.
  5. Clicking “safely remove hardware”      button on the taskbar before unplugging the Nook from the computer.

Are you still with me? Well, your patience and persistence has paid off. Now, you too will be able to read books in a whole new way.










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