Barnes & Noble, a prominent name in the world of books and e-readers, has announced that it will no longer be supporting some of its older e-reader models. This move will affect the Nook Simple Touch models released in 2011 and 2012, as well as the Nook GlowLight released in 2013. The company revealed that it would disable the devices’ services in April 2024, followed by the removal of access to the Barnes & Noble bookstore in June 2024. This decision means that users will no longer be able to purchase new books or register the devices, effectively rendering them obsolete.
One of the main concerns with this discontinuation of support is the impact on the lifespan of these e-readers. E-readers are known for their longevity, with many users relying on them for several years. By cutting off support, Barnes & Noble is essentially creating a forced obsolescence for these devices. While they will still function with limited capabilities, the inability to access new books or register the devices restricts their usefulness significantly.
Another issue raised by this decision is the limited storage capacity on these older e-readers. The devices were primarily designed to encourage users to purchase content from the Barnes & Noble store, leaving little space for sideloading additional books. Good e-Reader points out that this limitation will further contribute to the potential increase in e-waste. As users find themselves unable to upgrade their e-readers or transfer ownership to another family member, these devices may end up discarded instead of being passed on or resold.
While the discontinuation of support may seem like the end for these e-readers, there is still a glimmer of hope. Barnes & Noble has stated that the devices will continue to connect to Wi-Fi, leaving the possibility open for crafty hackers to explore potential workarounds or enhancements. There is a chance that third-party stores or additional functionalities could be added to these devices, extending their usefulness beyond the limitations imposed by the company.
For users who are ready to move on from their older e-readers, Barnes & Noble is offering a small reprieve. The company is allowing customers to request a coupon that can be used towards the purchase of a new Nook device. This offer aims to incentivize users to transition to the latest e-reader models while saying goodbye to their beloved older devices.
Barnes & Noble’s decision to discontinue support for the 2011 Nook Simple Touch, the 2012 Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight, and the 2013 Nook GlowLight signifies the end of an era. The limitations imposed by this decision raise concerns about the lifespan of e-readers, storage limitations, and potential e-waste. However, the promise of continued Wi-Fi connectivity offers a glimmer of hope for those looking to explore alternative functionalities. Regardless, users who are ready to embrace new horizons can take advantage of the coupon offer to facilitate their transition to the latest Nook devices. Farewell, old e-readers, and may the next chapter in the evolution of e-reading be even more captivating.