I really, really hate companies that don’t let you use their devices without registering them in some way. Even Apple isn’t that evil.1
But Barnes & Noble is.
I recently purchased a Nook Simple Touch as a gift for someone and wanted to set it up with some books for them. I’ve done this before with a Kindle without any problems.2
However, the Nook Simple Touch forces you to create a Barnes & Noble account and add a credit card on file before you can actually use the device you paid for.
Aside from being a bad out-of-box experience, it also makes things like selling the Nook down the line harder (assuming you like to reset your devices before selling them and the buyer wants to see them actually working before paying.)
Well, for anyone else in the same boat, here’s how to get your Nook Simple Touch up and running without registering. Please note that all credit for this solution goes to crazy_jake from the xda-developers forums.
Turn on the device, but do NOT start setting it up. B&N devilishly waits until the last step to ask you to create an account, at which point the following instructions don’t work. If you do start setting it up, just turn it off and back on again.
Hold down the top right button on the front of the device and slide your finger from left to right across the top of the E Ink screen. (It’s a little hard to see, but it’s the Nook’s default next page button if you were using your right hand. For past Kindle owners, it’s the one in the same spot as the previous page button on a Kindle.)
A ‘Factory’ button should appear in the top left corner of the screen. Press it.
Once in the Factory menu, hold down the top right button on the front of the device and tap the bottom right corner of the screen.
You should now see a ‘Skip Oobe’ button. Tap that and the Nook should finally load the home screen.
Hope this helps someone.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me. (2015 UPDATE: I have not had a Nook in years, so I’m afraid I cannot help you if the above instructions no longer work.)
iOS devices may not be terribly useful without registering an Apple ID to download apps, buy music and movies, or use FaceTime and iMessage—but at least you can if you want to. ↩
Other than the fact that the Kindle has no easy way to sort books into folders (“collections”) on a computer before you sideload them onto a device. ↩