I use both the CWMARS and Boston Public Library digital libraries. The former is for people in central and western Massachusetts. The Boston Public Library will allow any Massachusetts resident to get a free library card online. CWMARS digital catalog can be found here. Boston Public Library's digital catalog can be found here. I encourage you to visit your local library, wherever you live, to find out about your local digital offerings. Between CWMARS and Boston, I have to purchase very few books -- they have almost everything I want to read.
One thing to know about using the digital library is that (1) you almost always have to put a hold on something and wait for it if it's new/popular and (2) the lending period is only 14 days. This means that you might have to wait for the book you want and that you have to read quickly. There are plenty of older books that you won't need a hold for. I usually read some of those while waiting for things to come off hold.
In order to put books on the nook after you get them out of the digital library, you need the Adobe program Digital Editions. It's free. You can download it here. This program, you nook, and the USB that comes with your nook (and that you use to charge it) are the only things you need to check out books from the digital library and put them on your nook.
Here's what to do. Please note that you must have Adobe Digital Editions installed on your computer before beginning to check out books from the digital library.
Also, before beginning to use the digital library and take out books, take your nook and connect it to your computer via the USB cable that comes with it. The auto run menu will pop up when you plug your nook in. You can just close it. You don't need it.
1. Browse the library and find a book that you want to check out. Browsing the library is pretty simple. You can use the search function if you are looking for something specific. Once you have found an e-book you want, click on it to view the information and bring up the books record -- I think of this as analogous to taking a book off the self to look at it at the real library.
2. You will see a link that says "Add to Cart." Click on it. The book will then be added to your cart and you will be brought to your cart. From here you can keep browsing or check out. I will assume we're doing the latter.
3. In your cart, click "Proceed to Checkout."
4. You will then be asked to login with your library card number, if you have not logged in earlier. Enter your number and select "Login."
5. You will be brought to your cart to review your item and the checkout period. It should default to the 14 days. There is an option to select a 7 day checkout period instead on a drop down. Make this change if you want. If you're okay with the 14 days, just click on "Confirm check out."
6. You are now on the screen where you can download your book. Click where it says, "Download."
7. Your book should now automatically download. I always set mine to "Open" right after they download. They then open automatically in Adobe Digital Editions. The first time that you download a book, the computer might ask you what program you want to use to open the file. Be sure to select Adobe Digital Editions from the list.
8. You will now see your e-book open in Digital Editions. If the book is open you will know because the big front cover of the book will be displayed. You will now want to go to library view in Digital Editions. Do this by clicking on the icon of three books in the upper left hand corner of digital editions.
9. You will now see your book as a smaller icon. There will also be a left hand menu. The list on it will read "All items" at the top (this is where you are now) and "nook" on the bottom.
10. Find the picture of your book in "All items" in the library view. Single click on the book and drag and drop it to where it says "nook" on the left hand menu. A prompt will come up saying that the book is copying.
11. The book is on your nook! Remember to stop the nook by selecting the stop drives icon on your tool bar.
12. Unplug your nook and you're ready to go. If you have a 1st edition nook, please note that books will be located in the my documents section of your library. To find them, select the library icon on the touchscreen menu of your nook. Select my documents, the first item on the touchscreen menu when you're in your library. If you have a new nook, the books will just appear in your normal library.
When you want to return your books, you will have to to the following.
1. Plug your nook in and open Digital Additions.
2. Be sure to be in library mode. You will have to return the book both off of the library in Digital Editions and on the nook. Click on "All items."
3. Select the book you want to return and click on the carrot in the upper left hand corner. A drop down menu will appear. Select "Return borrowed item."
4. A popup will ask if you're sure you want to return the item. Say "Yes" to return the item.
5. Click on the nook on the left hand menu. Repeat steps 3 and 4. Your book is now returned.