Is there any way to download Barnes and Noble ebooks directly now?
September 5, 2015 9:41 PM   Subscribe

I just received a gift card to Barnes and Noble for my birthday. I've been avoiding buying ebooks there for some time now because I store all of my ebooks on Calibre, where I can edit them and manipulate them directly, but I would rather spend this money on ebooks rather than analog books if I can--if I can be assured that I can download, back up, and store my own copy on Calibre. Is there still a way to do this?

I have tried a firefox Greasemonkey plugin which in theory is supposed to provide a direct download button, but I can't find the "download" link or button on the site and I haven't seen any visual guides that show me where it should be. I have tried downloading NookStudy to use, but the system refuses to log me in and I see that B&N has discontinued support for that. I am willing to try a phone workaround if absolutely necessary but I'd rather work directly through my PC if I can.

If this is totally impossible to do, I get that too. If need be, I would rather spend the money entirely on analog books rather than epubs I can't download. I do not trust B&N or Nook as far as I can throw them and fully expect them to crash sometime in the next few years, and I am incredibly uninterested in losing all my books with them. But if I can spend this money on ebooks instead, I'd rather do that. I move semi-frequently and I do a lot of reading on my eReader as it is. (Ironically, that's a Nook Simple Touch--but my next one won't be; I'm absolutely done with B&N and if I didn't have a gift card I would not be buying from them.)

Wretched company. What are my options here?
posted by sciatrix to Technology (14 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
There is a Windows App for Nook as well-- might require Win8. That link is an microsoft app store URL and I stripped out the uid and referrer stuff, so I'm only 90% confident it's going to work for other people. If not, search for same; it'll come up in google.

You can also track down a copy of the discontinued "Nook for PC" application, which allegedly still works (win2k through win7-- should work on win8/10 really)

The downloads will have DRM, but from what I'm reading, that's not a major obstacle; I just can't advise you to do anything like that. Nook books are EPUB with DRM, and I'm sure EPUB is at least passingly familiar to a Calibre user.

If you have an Android or iOS device, you can install the Nook app, and that will give you a local file you can put through the ringer in Calibre. The hard part will be locating the files once they're on your device, and from my experience I imagine that iOS would make that really difficult, while Android will be relatively easy. Get yourself a free ebook for Nook and see what you can do.
posted by Sunburnt at 10:10 PM on September 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Apprentice Alf’s DRM Removal Tools for eBooks

People I know that do this on a large-scale basis use a modified version of the Alf's tools. I'll send you details on the modified workflow by mefi mail.
posted by ryanrs at 10:16 PM on September 5, 2015 [4 favorites]

The last time I had to deal with a Nook e-book, it was a gigantic butt-pain. I had to spin up a Windows VM to run the NookStudy app, because the diagnostic log it writes was the only place to get the unique ID string that the Calibre de-DRM plugins needed. If NookStudy is no more, I'm not sure how to proceed.

According to this article from 11 July 2015, the NookStudy app still works, though. It might be worth another try.

A Google search will lead you to various other tools that supposedly remove DRM from Nook epubs. However, because B&N used your credit card number as an input to the key generator, the third-party decryprtion tools need it too -- making them scary to use.

On preview: Yes, the Apprentice Alf tools are what you want for Calibre. Hopefully ryanrs has a working way to get the keyfile you need to use them.
posted by sourcequench at 10:24 PM on September 5, 2015

My way still needs your cc number.
posted by ryanrs at 10:27 PM on September 5, 2015

Best answer: By far the easiest thing to do is buy the ebook and then download a cracked copy from someplace like libgen that you can then load in Calibre and then onto your device.
posted by Mitheral at 11:37 PM on September 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Forgive me if I'm missing something (are you wanting to not use the nook app at all?), but I just tried this, and I'm not seeing what the issue is.
--Buy ebook
--Open the nook app for PC and download the book you just bought.
--Open calibre and click the "add books" icon on your far left (nook books are in "this pc"--->"documents"--->"my barnes & noble ebooks")
--When I click to open the book it gives me the option to open it in both calibre and adobe. I just double-checked, and the book is definitely in my calibre library.

You could also buy the book directly on your nook and then plug the nook into your computer. Then you open calibre, click the "add books" icon, and add the ebook to your library from your device. Then it's both on your device and on your pc.
posted by Violet Hour at 12:14 AM on September 6, 2015 [2 favorites]

Anything you can open in Adobe Digital Editions can be added, without DRM, to Calibre, using the plugins suggested above. (I still use ADE 2.0, though.) This link suggests they still can be opened in ADE.
posted by jeather at 3:46 AM on September 6, 2015

Am I missing anything or am I correct in understanding I won't be able to transfer my 100 or so books to my Macbook.
Darn I wish i'd bought a kindle!
posted by antiquated at 7:20 AM on September 6, 2015

Response by poster: For the record, the problem I'm having isn't that I'm not sure how to remove DRM--the problem is that I'm having a rough time downloading any epub files (DRMed or not) from my B&N account. I've tried the Nook for Windows app as well now, and while it's telling me I've downloaded the books I'm having a difficult time finding the file path where they're being stored. The "My Barnes & Noble Ebooks" folder in Documents (which does exist!) is completely empty as far as I can tell.

If it helps, I'm using Windows 10.
posted by sciatrix at 8:38 AM on September 6, 2015

Best answer: The "My Barnes & Noble Ebooks" folder in Documents (which does exist!) is completely empty as far as I can tell.

Yeah, um, something's not right here, because mine is full of epub files (Documents--->my Barnes & Noble ebooks -->my email address). When you open the nook app, can you a)see your books and have you b)actually downloaded (not just purchased) your books. If the book is downloaded there will be a big green "read now" button as well as a smaller gray "remove local copy" option. (Everything you've ever bought with your email will show up in the app; mine has things from years ago before I had this computer, and some of the old stuff I've never bothered to download again, but I can whenever I want to.)

Also, just spitballing, but on the off chance this is the issue---if you can't even SEE your books in the app to download, double-check that you are signed into the app with the same email you used to buy your books. Like, if you signed into as sciatrix@gmail and then signed into the app as sciatrixjones@hotmail, it doesn't know you're the same person, and you have to sign out and then back into the app with the same email address as you did on the site. In the app, your email is displayed on the upper left.

Am I missing anything or am I correct in understanding I won't be able to transfer my 100 or so books to my Macbook.

Yes, of course you can transfer your books to a mac. The instructions I wrote above are for a windows 10 pc, but the steps are the same. The easiest way to do it is just to plug the nook into your mac with the usb.
posted by Violet Hour at 10:40 AM on September 6, 2015

B&N dumped the ability to read and download books on Mac's. When I go into my library on the website all it offers me is the ability to repurchase all my books. According to one of their chat agents they'll bring back the ability to read books on the web sometime in the future.
posted by Runes at 10:50 AM on September 6, 2015

I typically buy from Kobo, and I don't get an epub file, I get an acsm file. Can you find those?

When I open in ADE, I see it in something like My Documents/My Books.
posted by jeather at 11:05 AM on September 6, 2015

There are two different barbers and noble Windows apps, there is a metro style app that is what i guess youre using. You want "nook for pc" googling around it seems that b and n Durant support nook fur pc anymore but I was able to find a download at softpedia that worked for me a few months ago.
posted by dstopps at 12:29 PM on September 6, 2015

Response by poster: Weird. I was using the "Nook for Windows"--I assume that's not what was meant? Ugh, this is such a goddamn mess. Now trying "Nook for PC" from a third party, since B&N no longer host a download for it.

....and Nook for PC works! Thanks, all!
posted by sciatrix at 3:02 PM on September 6, 2015

« Older Dublin vs. Sarajevo   |   Help me have an awesome Oregon coast trip! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.