Restoring an (ancient) Simple Touch Nook

Now for a quick digression, because I love getting more use out of old tech.

Years ago, I picked up a Simple Touch Nook e-reader, a competitor/alternative to the Amazon kindle, for under $20 refurbished. Barnes & Noble, I believe, have gone through bankruptcies and changes since then so these older devices have been mostly abandoned in favor of newer options. While I could get it to connect to wifi, the Setup process cannot connect to the Nook servers for some reason (probably because they do not exist any longer). Other than that though, the device works and has a solid e-ink screen and included Adobe technology.

If you happen to find one for nothing and want a way to read some e-books, follow the guide from this webpage to skip registration. You can then easily side load ebooks onto a microSD card loaded into the slot on the side. Just drag files into the Books subfolder. I believe the reader will even view PDFs, albeit in gray scale.

Here are the steps from the website. They worked for me.

Hold down the top right button on the front of the device and slide your finger from left to right across the top of the E Ink screen. (It’s a little hard to see, but it’s the Nook’s default next page button if you were using your right hand. For past Kindle owners, it’s the one in the same spot as the previous page button on a Kindle.)

Turn on the device, but do NOT start setting it up. B&N devilishly waits until the last step to ask you to create an account, at which point the following instructions don’t work. If you do start setting it up, just turn it off and back on again.

A ‘Factory’ button should appear in the top left corner of the screen. Press it.

Once in the Factory menu, hold down the top right button on the front of the device and tap the bottom right corner of the screen.

You should now see a ‘Skip Oobe’ button. Tap that and the Nook should finally load the home screen.

My son now has his own simple e-reader, and I’ve gotten more use out of old tech. Many classic novels are online free, like Call of the Wild and Huck Finn. And we didn’t feed the Amazon beast. Good stuff.

— Nathan