Nook Glowlights Still Hate Sideloaded eBooks

Nook Glowlight Plus

One of the biggest complaints about the Nook Glowlight 3 is the fact that it’s buggy with sideloaded content. Files get easily corrupted, ebooks disappear. Frankly it’s a mess.

Unfortunately the new 7.8-inch Nook Glowlight Plus suffers from the exact same problem.

I’ve been trying to sideload ebooks onto it and it’s turned into a major headache.

I’ve heard some people say that you have to wait for awhile after adding ebooks to a Nook for it to process them, but the device gives no indication of this.

Perhaps if you’re only transferring a few ebooks you might not encounter the issue, but when transferring a few dozen or more ebooks then it becomes a big problem.

I recently plugged the Nook Glowlight Plus into my computer and tried to transfer a few dozen ebooks to it, and after the files were finished copying over to the Nook, I properly ejected it. But not a single ebook appears on the Nook, and now my computer doesn’t properly recognize the Nook so I cannot transfer any files at all now.

This isn’t anything new. People have been having issues like this ever since the Nook Glowlight 3 was released in November 2017.

With the problem persisting for so long and B&N never fixing it, it makes you wonder if the poor support for non-Nook ebooks is intentional.

Either way if you’re thinking about getting a Nook to use with non-Nook books you should probably reconsider. Maybe there’s some magic formula to get sideloaded books to show up and work properly on a Nook on a consistent basis, but at this point it’s more likely your sideloaded ebooks will end up corrupted or they’ll disappear entirely.

36 Responses to “Nook Glowlights Still Hate Sideloaded eBooks”

  1. Never had this problem with the Glowlight 3. Got the Glowlight Plus day one, sideloaded about 40 books, and been fine since. Don’t know what my secret is.

    • Did you eject your Nook as soon as the file transfer was finished, or did you wait awhile? Did you drag and drop or use Calibre?

    • I didn’t have any problems, either. I also ejected right away, but didn’t use Calibre. Used the Mac OS High Sierra. I don’t doubt that the issue exists for some users, but it’s interesting that we had so many different factors in our experience and still didn’t encounter the bug.

    • Do you use shelves for any of your sideloaded content? If so, does it stay in them after sideloading more content.

      Other things are annoying, but this is the only one that causes me problems.

  2. I’ve never had the corrupted file or disappearing books issues, but all of my sideloaded content disappears from shelves as soon as I sideload new content. It’s extremely annoying if you’re using your reader to read books for school and are attending multiple classes at once.

    There’s no reason they should still have these issues two years later. They should just open source the software and let us fix it.

  3. It would be interesting to see if there is a correlation between the OS and the fail rate. I’m half tempted to pick up a GL3 and see if I have these issues using Linux. (I know I’ve never had the connection issues with Kobos that some people seem to have with Windows.) Regardless of its cause, it’s a known issue that should have been fixed long ago.

  4. maybe usb cable, may try wifi, dunno

  5. They do get corrupted at the drop of a pin. I have fought with mine now over 2 years. If you do everything right (which means waiting extra time, even if it says it’s safe to eject, even if it says it’s done processing, etc), things might go right… the first time. The second time you try to sideload, it ends up corrupting the file system 99% of the time. Sometimes the Nook will tell you it’s corrupted, other times it won’t, but when you plug it in it will show folders and files with random, nonsensical character names like “^^$&#j K-_” and then you have to reset the WHOLE thing to get it back to working. That means deregistering, erasing, reloading ALL of the content (B&N and sideloaded) and redoing all of your setup and reading settings. The whole thing reeks of poor, outsourced, done by fresh college grads with no experience UI and software design. There are many elements of poor design that just show the sheer incompetence of the software designers. As intentional as the broken sideloading might seem, the rest of it is so bad that it could actually be a legitimate bug. That they don’t fix it, however is definitely on purpose. It’s ok though, now that Eliott Management is buying B&N, as others have pointed out, the Nook will probably be dumped off to Kobo.

    • Don’t properly eject in windows, just unplug the usb cable. The default settings are that you can just unplug and it seems to sort this issue.

  6. Several months ago, I could no longer access B&N-purchased books on my Glowlight 3. I went to a B&N store, where a sales rep solved the problem. I had to de-register and then re-register. Then the disappeared books appeared once again. Good B&N service,but this problem shouldn’t have occurred in the first place.

    In at least several ways, Glowlight 3 software is a downgrade from Simple Touch software. The Simple Touch enabled changing font size on PDF (unscanned) docs, which at the time was better than what the Kindle provided. Can’t do that any more.

    The most egregious downgrade is no longer being able to add sideloaded books to collections.While the Glowlight 3 opened up gigabytes of space for sideloaded books, what B&N gave with one hand it took away with the other.

    If you cannot organize those sideloaded books onto Shelves (B&N-speak) or into Collections (Amazon-speak), that additional space is useless. Without collections/indexng, I find it practical to have only about 2 dozen sideloaded books on the Glowlight 3.
    One may add sideloaded books to the Glowlight 3, but they will not remain there. This is NOT a bug , but a feature.
    From Mobileread, The Amazing Disappearing Shelves comment #42:

    FINALLY !!!!!
    I cannot believe it took this long to wring the truth out of B&N.

    ((reply from B&N help desk below ))

    Thank you for writing to us.

    We would like inform you that the NOOK Shelf in your NOOK Library are only for NOOK Books only or eBooks that are purchased from Barnes and Noble.


    NOOK Support Agent
    Barnes & Noble
    ((end reply))

    A hardware issue is that the rubberized surface, judging from my Simple Touch, is not as durable as a conventional hard plastic surface.

  7. WTF!?!? I am almost mad enough to take this thing back.

    Incompetence is one thing. Malice is something else entirely. The day Amazon releases a Kindle with a real night mode, I am done with Nook. Till then, note taking sucks on Kobos so I guess I’m stuck.

    Seriously wtf is wrong with these people, so what if we didn’t buy the books from you. We still paid for your product. Unbelievable!

  8. Why do my posts not show. This is like my 10th attempt. I had no issues side loading ebooks using calibre or other means

    • My comments frequently don’t show either. It’s getting worse. I copy the comment before I hit submit, just in case.

      For me, I have no problem sideloading, but it erases the sideloaded content from my shelves as soon as I sideload more content. The GL3 did this as well. The comment above mine says BN did that purposely.

      Shelves are how I organize my textbooks by class. It’s very frustrating to have a big mess on the Nook and perfect organization on the Kindle and Onyx. If Kindle had a night mode I wouldn’t even bother with the nook. I prefer the 7 inch screen anyway.

    • Sorry, I don’t know what the issue is with comments not showing up. Is it happening with the desktop or mobile version of the website?

  9. It used to be just desktop, but the issue now happens on the phone as well.

    Did you develop the site yourself? If so I have an idea of what it might be if we’re able to look at the back-end code.

    • It’s an old wootheme. It would probably help if I would install an updated theme but it’s a major undertaking so it might take a while.

      • It might be worth it though if this site is a major income source for you. Simply lacking a mobile version is probably hurting you in search results.

  10. I had success in keeping my side loaded content when I moved them over with Adobe Digital Editions.

    Also, when I installed a launcher thru ADB and added ES File explorer, I was able to see the ePubs. I could open them up and read them with the Nook software.

    May try Calibre to see how it works for me.

    • Will they stay in shelves the next time you connect to the computer?

      • They did stay in the same location, but I noticed that I couldn’t see them with the file explorer that came with the Nook. I could still see them with the ES File Explorer.

        I placed my files on the “Nook” Folder, and when I used the ES file Explorer, and then I went in the following order: storage, spsd, and Nook. After that, I was able to see the files.

        Haven’t had a problem locating them after those steps.

  11. Don’t properly ejectin windows, just unplug the usb cable. The default settings are that you can just unplug and it seems to sort this issue.
    If it stops recognising your device rebooting sorted that and it’s continued to be recognised as long as you just unplug and don’t eject.
    No idea about loading lots of books though. The software isn’t good enough, no chance I’m buying the 7.8 after tha hassle this has been.

  12. Sporadic issue. What works for me even when properly ejecting from calibre. Turn off your WiFi wait a few minutes, then reconnect to WiFi and voila they start loading. I know it has nothing to do with sudeliading and WiFi but it seems to work for me.

  13. I am unable to download a book from Calibre to either of my Glowlight Plus Nook’s. Now, I use Calibre to translate (i.e mobi to Epub), send the file from Calibre to my hard drive. Then send the file from your hard drive to your Nook (it shows up as a device under C:) You have to send it to the “Nook” sub-directory to get it into the correct storage area. Happiness is!

  14. My Glowlight 3 hasn’t worked properly since I got it. It now does not show sideloaded content even though ADE tells me the files are on my Nook. They just. aren’t. there. I am done with B&N and am going to get a Clara HD from Kobo. My only requirement (besides actually being functional) is a temperature adjustable light. If anyone has experience with the Clara, good or bad, I’d like to hear it.

    The last time I took my GL3 into a B&N store the employee told me there was nothing he could do and he no longer recommends the device. That was about a year after it came out.

    • I have also had problems w the Glowlight 3’s software. Such as B&N-purchased books showing but not being able to open them. I went to a B&N store for assistance. The solution was to de-register the Nook, than re-register and reinstall everything. That would be my suggestion. Pain in the neck, but it worked for me.

      Offhand, I don’t recall if being unable to open a book was also an issue with sideloaded content. I suspect it may have been.

      My big beef w sideloaded books on the Glowlight2 is that you cannot add sideloaded books to collections/shelves. Which means that I keep only about 30 sideloaded books at a time on the device.

      In the year and a half I have had the Glowlight 3, I have had to got through the deregister-reregister-reinstall rigamarole two or three times.

      If I hadn’t paid half price for it, courtesy of turning in an Original Nook, I would also have returned it.