30 Bananas a Day!

I bought a NOOK Simple Touch E-book reader, manufactured by Barnes & Noble. It arrived today and I wanted to start using it immediately for reading my existing E-books, because reading large text from an LCD back-lit screen is horrible.

But, it turns out that my intention to buy an E-book reader, load it with my E-books and start reading was simply too ambitious - too unrealistic! First it must be connected to the Internet via WiFi in order to access B&N's website to register it. This stage cannot be skipped as the device is basically a paperweight without doing it - totally useless.

I do not have WiFi and don't wish to use it anyway due to the health concerns, even though my living space is already flooded with radio pollution from myriad external sources. This means I cannot use the NOOK for anything I intended it for - reading! This was not clear at all in the product descriptions I read or the reviews. I had to basically threaten legal action before the vendor agreed to refund me for the NOOK, including postage. So it’s going back to the shop and I'm left without.

Is this the case with most E-book readers? Surely not!

I had a live discussion with B&N, a copy of which I've pasted below:

You are now connected with Peter Paul from BN.com

Gary Ward: How can I use the NOOK Simple Touch I just purchased to read my existing E-books without first accessing the Internet via WiFi? I am unable to connect to any WiFi network and do not wish to. WiFi poses a health risk even if it were available to me. None of the videos, reviews or descriptions of the NOOK I reviewed prior to my purchase stated that I would be unable to read my existing E-books without first accessing the Internet via WiFi. So, how can I bypass this part of the setup process and go straight to reading my E-books? Thank you.

Peter Paul: Hello Gary Ward. Thank you for contacting Barnes and Noble Customer Chat Support.

Peter Paul: My name is Peter.

Gary Ward: Hello

Peter Paul: I think our Digital Support Team will be happy to help you with this concern.

Peter Paul: May I please transfer the chat to our Digital Support Team?

Gary Ward: yes please

Peter Paul: Thank you, please be on hold while I transfer the chat to our Digital Support Team.

Gary Ward: okay, thanks

You are now connected with Peter Paul from BN.com

You are now connected with Dominic Joseph from BN.com

Dominic Joseph: Hi, thank you for contacting Barnes and Noble Digital Chat Support. My name is Dominic.

Gary Ward: Hello

Dominic Joseph: If I understand your concern correctly, you would like to know if you can register the NOOK without accessing wireless network?

Gary Ward: No. I am not interested in registration, only reading my existing E-books

Dominic Joseph: Gary, in order to read the eBooks on the NOOK, you will have to register the NOOK, without that, you will not be able to read or access any of the cotent. It is suggested for you to visit the BN store and get the NOOK registered first.

Gary Ward: What is the point? I already have E-books which I would like to read now!

Gary Ward: Nothing was stated in any description I read before buying that I would need to jump through hoops before being able to use the thing!

Dominic Joseph: I am sorry but you can't do that.

Gary Ward: Why? Please explain

Dominic Joseph: Gary, when you purchase a new product, you will have to register that particular product to your registered email address.

Gary Ward: because?

Dominic Joseph: As informed, if the product is registered, then you can use the product without any issue. The NOOK here, needs to be registered to your registered email address. '

Gary Ward: With respect, you are failing to explain why, only repeating what I need to do!

Gary Ward: I bought a bamboo chopping board and it worked fine without registration!

Gary Ward: What is the rationale behind this unexplained policy of yours?

Gary Ward: It's starting to sound like a dishonest ploy to lure in customers.

Dominic Joseph: Gary, this is a eReader.

Dominic Joseph: If I do sound dishonest, I am sorry, but we do inform the same on the terms and conditions of usage.

Gary Ward: So why am I unable to use it to read my existing E-books?

Gary Ward: I am requesting an explanation for this policy

Gary Ward: A way to circumvent it would be preferable.

Gary Ward: Someone made the decision at B&N to implement this policy and I would like to know why. I thnk that is a fair question.

Gary Ward: What isn't fair is that I just bought a somewhat expensive paperweight!

Dominic Joseph: Let me explain you.

Gary Ward: Okay

Dominic Joseph: Registering a NOOK device is mandatory as this is in regards with the safety measures which will keep your data secured on the NOOK and also will be backed up on the BN server.

Gary Ward: You are starting to sound Orwellian!

Gary Ward: With respect, that sounds like utter nonsense.

Gary Ward: I have back-ups for all my E-books on DVD and Hard drive,. I can take care of myself, thank you.

Gary Ward: I don;t need anyone to hold my hand.

Gary Ward: And I certainly do not appreciate being forced into having to hold anyone's hand

Dominic Joseph: I can understand your concern Gary. However, most of the devices do need to be logged into the account in order to use them.

Gary Ward: Then I will look for one that does not require this preposterous measure and return my NOOK to the vendor.

Dominic Joseph: We do manitain our old servers and database and it's for the benefit of customer's who wants their data to be backed up on the server which can be restored later on any other devcices if required.

Gary Ward: It should be an option.

Gary Ward: The fact that the NOOK cannot be used at all without first having accessed the database/network via WiFi is utterly ludicrous, and disgusting.

Gary Ward: And it should have been made unambiguously clear in the marketing material. It was not, and that is dishonest.

Dominic Joseph: We are sorry for the inconvenience caused. All you need is just to create an account for yourself and get your NOOK registered with the same account. As long as you have the ePub books available on the PC from any other source, you can transfer them to NOOK.

Gary Ward: Even if I wanted to I cannot because I do not have access to WiFi, and I am also not inclined to use WiFi due to the health concerns.

Dominic Joseph: I do understand. However, you can get it connected to Wi-Fi only during the initial setup process and can be disconencted later as per your requirements.

Gary Ward: I cannot read any E-books transferred from my computer because the NOOK will not allow me to read them before first having accessed the Internet via WiFi and registering. Therein lies the problem.

Gary Ward: This is no way to start a reading revolution.

Dominic Joseph: Yes. It is mandatory for the NOOK to be connected to Wi-Fi in order to register it with the BN account and this can be helped by our technicians at the store. Once your NOOK is registered, you can turn off the Wi-Fi and use it for reading books which are transferred from the PC.

Gary Ward: Please send me an E-mail once the executive behind such a ludicrous decision is fired and you have released a product designed with sanity as a foundation, not corporate greed and manipulation.

Gary Ward: I bought it mail-order

Gary Ward: E-readers are supposed to make reading easier and more environmentally responsible. Instead they have brought fascism and control into reading.

Dominic Joseph: Well, I will definitely forward your request of manufacturing devices which doesn't need to be registered with the BN account in order to use them to our management.

Gary Ward: Thank you. It is rather obvious, but if you think it will do any good please proceed.

Dominic Joseph: Sure, you're welcome.

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Replies to This Discussion

they do want to keep track of things.

you may want to look more into this:


for instance, look at this:

Tell Amazon: Books and Libraries Shouldn't Have a Kill Switch


control is the longterm name of the game here and anything that is not open source or 'free' gets you into it.

in friendship,


a good quote to remember:

The most successful exploiter is the one who makes others feel that he or she has their best interests at heart.
Randall Collins


in friendship,


Thanks, pradtf. That's a good quote, and links. Very disturbing information.

here's some more disturbing info:

Microsoft is intercepting your stuff and sending it to the NSA (and the CIA and the FBI).


people don't take this stuff seriously because they think it'll all be ok. however, computers are an excellent platform through which to get the goods on someone these days, so if you don't run open software, you really don't know what that program you like is upto behind the scenes. ;)

in friendship,


I am more familiar with kindle than nook.  I am guessing you could take it to a library or a restaurant with wifi, register and download your materials, and then read when you are offline.  

Not sure if you use a cellphone or smartphone, but many of these have reader apps and or allow you to access accounts such as amazon prime.  

Peace, PK



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