Ten Useful Nook Tricks


With an electronic reader, you can carry around a wagon-sized load of books on a device half the size of most laptop computers. Barnes & Noble manufactures three different electronic readers as part of its Nook product line: the standard Nook, the Nook Color and the Nook Tablet. A few tips and tricks can help you get even more functionality and fun out of these already useful little devices.

Play More Videos on Your Nook Tablet

  • Unlike many electronic readers, the Nook Tablet gives you the ability to watch videos. The device is only compatible with certain video file formats, however, such as MP4, 3GP, Adobe Flash and 3G2. Not all videos are available in these formats. To convert a non-compatible video to a compatible format, you can use video-conversion software like Pavtube Video Converter, Any Video Converter Freeware or Freemake Video Converter. Install one of these apps on your computer and you can then drag and drop videos into the application, convert the videos to MP4 or another compatible format and then copy them onto your Nook Tablet.

Customize Your Wallpaper

  • Adding personalized wallpapers is a quick way to spice up any version of the Nook. On the Nook Color, you can choose between static and scrolling wallpapers. Static wallpapers remain in the same position on the screen as you move through a book, while a scrolling image moves as you move. For optimal viewing, a static image should be 600 pixels wide by 1,024 pixels tall; scrolling images should be 768 pixels wide by 1,024 pixels tall. To add wallpapers to your Nook Color, attach its USB cable to your computer. Then drag files from your computer and drop them into the "Wallpaper" folder in the "My Files" directory on your Nook.

Reading E-books From Other Stores

  • The Barnes & Noble e-book store has tens of thousands of titles, but with a few quick clicks, you can read e-books from other stores as well on your Nook. Start by downloading free e-book management software, such as Adobe Digital Editions. Once installed and synced with your Nook, select the “Add Item to Library” tool in Digital Editions. This tool enables you to browse your computer for other books in the ePub format, which you can then drag and drop into your Nook’s "Media" folder. When you are ready to read your newly imported books, you'll find them in the "Digital Editions" folder in the Nook's "My Files" directory.

Load Music and Create Playlists

  • When you want a break from reading, you can use your Nook to listen to music. This process is straightforward on the Nook Tablet, but it's a bit trickier on the Nook and Nook Color. With either device attached to your computer, drag and drop music files into the "Music" folder in your Nook’s "My Files" directory. Once you’ve transferred your files, unplug the Nook and click the main button, labeled "n". Then click the “Menu” option and launch your music player. To add your new songs to a playlist, click and hold any song in the "Music" folder on your Nook. An on-screen menu will appear. From this menu, click “Add to Playlist." You can then add your song to an existing playlist or create a new one. Drag songs around inside of a playlist to rearrange their order.

Uninstall Apps on the Nook Tablet

  • Because the Nook Tablet runs on Google's Android operating system, you can install dozens of third-party applications with a few clicks. Uninstalling these apps, however, isn't the simplest task on the Nook Tablet. Fortunately, free applications like Go Launcher help to streamline this process. With Go Launcher installed, all you need to do is drag unwanted apps onto the “Go Launcher” icon and a selection of options will pop up on-screen, one of which is “Uninstall.”

Lend Books to Friends

  • Any book in your Nook Library that features a “LendMe” badge can be loaned to a friend for up to 14 days. To loan an eligible book, click the “LendMe” badge beside the book. Select “With Contacts,” then “Select a Contact” and “Add Contact.” Input your friend’s name and email address. Next time you’re connected to the Internet, your Nook will automatically send the shared book to your friend.

Customize Your Screensaver

  • You can customize the screensaver on your Nook and Nook Color if you get tired of looking at the faces of famous authors that appear on-screen by default. To add your own images, start by creating a folder on your computer and dragging the images into it. For best results, images should be 600 pixels wide by 800 pixels tall. Then, attach your Nook to your computer. Drag and drop your newly created images folder into the "My Screensavers" directory on your Nook. Once the transfer is complete, disconnect the Nook from your computer. On your Nook, click “Settings,” followed by “Display” and “Screensaver,” and presto – you can activate the folder containing your new screensaver images.

Locate Free Books

  • Using your computer to search for free books in the Barnes & Noble online store is a snap, but did you know that you can search for free books on your Nook and Nook Color, too? First, you’ll need Internet access. Once you’re connected, click the “Shop” icon on your Nook’s main menu. When the Barnes & Noble store appears on-screen, select “eBooks." Down on the Nook’s menu panel, select “Search” and press the “123” button to toggle to the numerical input screen. Enter “0.00” and click “Search.” The Nook will display a paginated list of all free books available for download in the Barnes & Noble store.

Adjust Your Margins

  • Some people like margins on their e-reader screens, while others don’t. If you are using a Nook Color or Nook Tablet, you can change your margins to suit your personal reading style. With a book loaded, touch anywhere on the screen. A menu pops up. From this menu, select the "Text" option. On the right side of the Nook screen, you’ll see three rectangular icons depicting different margin sizes. Select the one you want. You can also activate night view mode and tweak line spacing from this same screen.

Full System Restore

  • If you need to return your Nook or Nook Color to the point of purchase, or if you just want to clear off all of your information and start fresh, you’ll want to perform a full system restore. To make this happen, hold down the main “n” button, the “Power” button and the “Increase Volume” buttons simultaneously. You can also go to the Settings panel on your Nook, select “Device Info” and then click “Erase & Deregister Device.” Be aware that a full system restore clears all of your files and deregisters your Nook from the Barnes & Noble store.

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