Barnes & Noble is sunsetting support for some of its oldest e-readers. It’ll start by disabling the devices’ services starting in April 2024; afterward, the company will disable access to the Barnes & Noble bookstore, removing the ability to buy new books on the devices beginning in June 2024. The news impacts the following devices: the 2011 Nook Simple Touch; the 2012 Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight (oh hey, we reviewed this); and the 2013 Nook GlowLight.
In June 2024, Barnes & Noble will disable the ability to register the devices with a bn.com account and won’t allow users to sign in with a Nook account. This effectively time-capsules otherwise functional e-readers and locks them with the current owner so they can’t really hand them down to a young family member, sell them, or otherwise just reactivate them after the cutoff.
The devices will continue to work with limited functionality, so you can still read downloaded books and sideload ePub files. Still, as Good e-Reader points out, there’s not a lot of storage for sideloading on these devices anyway since they’re designed to promote buying content on the Barnes & Noble store. The devices will also still take on PDF and PDB files.
E-readers can last a long time, so removing support for these models will potentially increase e-waste. For what it’s worth, Barnes & Noble says the devices will still connect to Wi-Fi — which hopefully could invite some crafty hackers to find a way to add third-party stores or otherwise add other functionality to them. But if you have one of these devices and are ready to move on, the company will let customers request a coupon to help fund a new Nook purchase.