I buy books from Amazon, Kobo, and rarely from Apple. I stay away from Nook books. It is sad because the first reader I ever owned was a Nook. I loved it. Back then, the Nook desktop app was easy to download and no one was afraid of losing his or her library.
If you own a Nook device, there are two methods you may try to liberate your books.
Connect your Nook reader directly to your computer via the USB cable which came with it. If your device is old and you no longer have the cable, you can find used original replacement cables on eBay for very little money. Make sure they are for your Nook model.
Use a USB cable capable of data transfer. Some are for charging only. Often, the failure of a device to connect to a PC is simply caused by a USB cable which is not designed for data transfer. The newer Nooks (GlowLight 4 series and newer tablets) use the USB type C connector which is becoming the norm for most electronic devices.
Connect your Nook and power it on. In some Nook models, a screen pops up on the Nook asking you to approve the connection. Do so. Then, on your PC, navigate on Windows Explorer to “My Computer.” You should see the device listed as MyNook. For different models, you might see it listed as a separate drive or as a storage device. Navigate to the Nook directory, locate the book files, and drag your books to the Windows PC.
An alternative which may work for you is using Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) app. Adobe Digital Editions is a reading app which supports the Nook and also has a desktop version. The ADE must installed in both your Nook and your PC or MAC.
After installing ADE, you must register (authorize) it with Adobe. Both the PC installation and the Nook installation must be authorized. and make sure each is set to “Automatic Download.” This means that any book loaded to your ADE in your Nook is automatically downloaded to your ADE in your PC.
Your books will sync and appear in the PC’s directory. “My Digital Editions” folder should be located in your Documents directory. Now, Calibre can import them just like it does Kobo and Kindle books.
Without a Nook device, liberating your books may not be easy or even possible.
For those readers who do not have a functional Nook, the problem is not DRM removal or format conversion. There are several apps that can handle DRM, and Nook books are already in EPUB format. The problem is getting the books out of the Barnes & Noble ecosystem.
All articles claiming a true/tried way of transferring books out of Nooks using the Nook app for PCs are useless because Barnes & Noble discontinued the app a few years ago. The mobile app is easily available, but not the one for PC.
I found an Epubor post (Updated 2022) claiming that the Microsoft Store’s Nook app still worked. Imagine my joy! Of course, I quickly downloaded it and attempted to install. It would not allow installation on my Windows PC. A careful inspection of the downloaded file’s entry showed that this is now an APK file not executable on the PC.
The app now available at the Microsoft Store is an APK app, although it is not labeled as such. APKs are created for Android devices, primarily Android phones and tablets.
To run an APK app on a PC, you need to install an Android emulator. These are massive programs used mainly by gamers who wish to run Android games on their computers. Some of these emulators are able to run the Nook app available at the Microsoft Store.
I spent hours installing MEmu, which is a stable, file-sharing emulator with excellent reviews. It kept crashing. I finally gave up. In my opinion, this is just too much trouble.
If you have an extensive Nook library which you want to access without buying a new Nook, there is the option to install the mobile Nook app on your Androids, iPhones, iPads and log into B&N to download your books and enjoy them. There is no need to buy a new Nook to enjoy your books. The Nook app is alive and well for mobile devices. You can download it at your favorite app store or at the B&N store site.
You can also buy the latest Nook and enjoy your library. The death knoll for the Nook has been rung for years, with all kinds of articles claiming that Nook is dead. The truth is far different.
Barnes & Noble are still selling Nooks and will for years to come. They no longer manufacture the devices themselves but contract their manufacture out. At present, they are opening new stores where they had closed years ago. It is evident that neither B&N or Nooks are not going away!
Eventually, someone will come up with a way to easily liberate your Nook library. Here’s hoping!