Nook Tips: Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck

It’s Christmas time and many bloggers are excited to be getting Nooks under their trees this year. I’m writing a series of “Nook Tips” posts to try to answer some of the most common questions you may have. Feel free to leave some of your own questions in the comments and I’ll try to address them in future posts.

I was hesitant to get a Nook at first because I felt like I was spending a lot of money that I would rather be spending on actual books. Once I gave in for the sake of reading digital galleys, I was surprised by the number of free things that I could get with my Nook. It’s impressively simple to make your investment well worth the money.

  • Download galleys from NetGalley: I explained how to do this in my first Nook Tips post. NetGalley is a great way to read advance copies of books. You can get a lot of books for free this way in exchange for reviews.
  • Browse the Free ebooks section on the Barnes and Noble website: You might be surprised by how many books you can get for free. These are often classics and romance titles. Publishers also sometimes offer books free for a limited time as a promotion, so be on the lookout for those.
  • Free Fridays: Barnes and Noble offers a different book free every Friday.
  • Check your local library: One of the things I love most about the Nook is that it accepts a variety of file types. Libraries now commonly have epub books available for download. You can usually get these for a lending period of up to 21 days, which is the same as my regular lending period for bound books. The number of titles available for download in this way will vary from one library to the next, but in general the ebook collections at most libraries seem to be growing. This is a really great thing to take advantage of with your ereader.
  • Buy LendMe titles: Many publishers have designated their Nook books as “LendMe” titles. This means that you can share your book with another Nook owner. The book goes to their Nook (and disappears from yours) for a 14 day period. You can only do this once per book, so make sure you choose who you want to share with carefully. Not all books can be shared, but you can view the list of titles that are designated as “LendMe” books on the Barnes and Noble site. At the moment, you cannot tell whether a book is available for sharing when shopping on the Nook store interface, but I have heard that this might be changed in the next software upgrade.
  • Use the In-Store promotions: One thing the Nook has working to its advantage is the existence of a brick and mortar store. This is becoming less unique as most ereaders can be bought in stores now, but Barnes and Noble still offers in-store promos that are better than you will find for most other ereaders. You can view some of the promotions by going to the store section of the Nook and browsing the bottom for coupons. I have seen offers for free smoothies, coffee, and chocolates, as well as discounts on cheesecake, magazines, and newspapers. You can also sometimes see bundle deals highlighted here. Most of the deals remain static for about a month, but I make a point of checking these periodically in case anything new shows up. Also, when you are actually in a BN store, make sure you check out the free titles available and take advantage of the ability to read any ebook in store free for up to an hour.

I’m sure there are many other ways to get more value from your Nook. Share some of your favorites in the comments!


12 Responses to "Nook Tips: Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck"

  • I haven’t quite yet jumped on the e-reader band wagon. I still prefer my actual bound books. But your list here is very convincing. Especially the NetGalley stuff & being able to borrow from the library. Two very nice features.

    1 Ginger @ GReads! said this (December 21, 2010 at 8:54 AM)

    • Ginger, I totally understand. I prefer my bound books, too. I read my galleys on my Nook because I can’t stand reading them on a computer screen, but I buy all of my finished copies. However, since I got a Nook for the galleys, I’ve been trying to make sure I get my money’s worth 🙂

      2 Melanie said this (December 21, 2010 at 9:16 AM)

  • What helpful tips, all in one place! Thanks for posting this.

    3 FloeticFlo said this (December 21, 2010 at 8:59 AM)

  • Another tip is to search “0.00” under nookbooks instead of going to the Free nookbook section—sometimes there are better titles there that won’t show up in the free nookbooks section.

    Also be careful in that part. I was there the other night and downloaded a few Jane Austen sequels that said they were free, but then when I clicked on them to read more they had a price on them. I ended up being charged about $20 for the three books. I called Customer Service and they gave me a refund, but still, it was a pain in the ass. So just click and check before hitting “Download.”

    4 Tahleen said this (December 21, 2010 at 9:04 AM)

    • Thanks for a great tip and warning! That’s good to hear that Customer Service at least took care of it, but never fun to have to deal with that stuff.

      I did hear that they were having a lot of trouble with the Jane Austen books for her birthday the other day, so hopefully that was just an abnormality.

      5 Melanie said this (December 21, 2010 at 9:17 AM)

  • I love my nook but really need to investigate more on what it can actually do. I primarily use it for NetGalley and library books, but I should look into the free nookbooks and other promotions as well. Thanks so much for posting these Melanie!!

    6 Tara said this (December 21, 2010 at 9:21 AM)

  • I’ve gotten a couple of books from Smashwords for my Kindle. There are some free ones, and lots for really cheap. I don’t know if they work with the Nook, but I suspect they probably do.

    7 Annette said this (December 21, 2010 at 10:51 AM)

    • I haven’t heard of Smashwords. I’ll have to check that out. Thanks Annette!

      8 Melanie said this (December 21, 2010 at 7:35 PM)

  • Great tips. I use the Seattle library all the time with my Nook. A few more tips:

    (a) If your local library doesn’t have ePub lending yet, you can purchase a non-resident library card from the Philadelphia library for $15/year. A great deal. More info here:

    (b) If you looking for other Nook owners to share books with, check out this new site. It lets you select the books you have/want and emails you when someone matches up with you

    9 James Cooper said this (December 21, 2010 at 6:08 PM)

    • These are really wonderful tips. Thanks for sharing!

      10 Melanie said this (December 21, 2010 at 7:34 PM)

  • Thanks for the tips! I just got my Nook last week for my birthday and am already in love. I’ve also used Project Gutenberg to get several great classics.

    11 Ronnica said this (December 21, 2010 at 7:40 PM)

    • Congrats on your new Nook! Glad you’re loving it 🙂

      Project Gutenberg is really awesome. I don’t take advantage of the classics as much as I should.

      12 Melanie said this (December 21, 2010 at 7:44 PM)