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What To Do with an Old Nook Tablet

Gone are the days when old tablets found themselves as mere bookends or fancy coasters. If you’re sitting on an old Nook Tablet, don’t be quick to dismiss it as a relic of the past. While the Nook might not be your primary e-reader or browsing device anymore, it still has potential in ways you might not have imagined.

tl;dr: Your old Nook Tablet can still be a valuable asset. Repurpose it into a digital picture frame, donate it for educational purposes, turn it into a dedicated e-reader or music player, or even sell it for parts.

Repurpose Your Nook Tablet

1. Digital Photo Frame
Your Nook Tablet has a lovely display which can give your digital photos new life. Load it up with cherished memories, set up a slideshow, and have it act as a digital photo frame. Place it on your bedside table, or mount it on a wall. Just think: a dynamic photo gallery at the tap of a screen!

Note: There are multiple apps available that can optimize this experience, allowing for smoother transitions and diverse display options.

2. Dedicated E-reader
It might seem redundant, but consider having your Nook serve as a dedicated e-reader for a specific genre or author. Maybe you love mystery novels or historical romances? Your Nook can be the home for that specific collection, making your reading time an even more immersive experience.

3. Kids’ Entertainment Device
With its sturdy build, a Nook Tablet is great for kids. Load it up with child-friendly apps, e-books, and videos. It’s perfect for keeping them engaged on long trips or during those unpredictable rainy days.

Note: Ensure you activate parental controls to keep your children’s digital experience safe.

4. Music and Podcast Player
While it might not have the latest speakers, the Nook can still serve as a dedicated device for your favorite tunes or podcasts. Whether it’s for your workout sessions, cooking time, or just chilling on your porch, the Nook can be your musical companion.

5. DIY Projects
The tech-savvy among us might see the Nook Tablet as a challenge. Why not turn it into a control panel for a smart home? Or a dedicated kitchen recipe display? The options are limited only by your imagination (and maybe a bit by the tech specs).

Donate or Recycle

1. Educational Purposes
Many educational institutions and non-profit organizations can repurpose old tablets for teaching and learning. Your old Nook can be a treasure in a classroom setting, especially in underprivileged areas.

I recommend checking local schools or organizations like the World Computer Exchange, which focus on providing tech resources to places in need.

2. Recycling
If your Nook is beyond salvation, consider recycling it. Tech waste is a major concern, with a 2019 study from the World Economic Forum revealing that around 50 million tonnes of e-waste is generated annually. By recycling, you’re contributing to a sustainable future.

Note: Before recycling, ensure you’ve wiped all personal data from your device.

Sell or Trade-In

1. Selling for Parts
You’d be surprised at the number of people looking for parts to fix their old Nook Tablets. List it on platforms like eBay, and you might find a taker. Even if it’s not functioning perfectly, parts like the screen or battery can be valuable.

2. Trade-in Programs
Retailers such as Barnes & Noble occasionally have trade-in programs, where you can get discounts on newer models by trading in your old device.

Mastering the Art of Repurposing

1. Home Monitoring Device
While modern security systems are integrated with high-end tech, your Nook Tablet can be used as a basic home monitoring device. By using apps that can turn the device into a surveillance camera, you can keep an eye on specific spots in your home.

I recommend using apps like IP Webcam or AtHome Camera, which transform your device into a security camera that you can access remotely.

2. Remote Control for Smart Devices
If you’ve got a few smart devices or a smart home setup, the Nook can become your centralized control unit. Whether it’s controlling your smart lights, thermostat, or speakers, apps like Google Home can make it a breeze.

3. Learning & Skill Development
Turn your Nook into a dedicated learning tool. Whether it’s language apps like Duolingo, coding platforms like SoloLearn, or even art tutorials, the focused environment can help enhance the learning experience.

Note: Given the Nook’s older hardware, it might run slower with some modern apps. It’s always good to check compatibility before downloading.

Making the Most of Donations & Recycling

1. Libraries & Community Centers
Apart from schools, many local libraries and community centers often have programs for the less fortunate. Donating your Nook here can provide someone with a gateway to digital reading and learning.

2. Creative Art Projects
Before deciding to recycle, you can check with local art schools or community colleges. Old tech can be a fascinating medium for art students, and your Nook Tablet could be part of an intriguing sculpture or installation.

Trade, Barter or Pass It On

1. Family Hand-Me-Down
Perhaps someone in your family or a friend can find use for your old Nook. It can be an excellent device for someone who’s not tech-savvy and just needs a simple machine for reading or browsing.

2. Barter System
Online communities and local groups often participate in barter systems. Exchange your Nook for something you might need – be it a service or another item.

I recommend platforms like Bunz or TradeMade for such bartering opportunities.

Enhancing & Upgrading

1. Custom ROMs and Software Overhaul
If you’re familiar with tinkering around with devices, installing a custom ROM could breathe new life into your Nook. It can provide a more updated user experience, albeit with certain risks.

Note: Installing custom ROMs can void warranties and can potentially brick your device if not done correctly.

2. Accessory Overhaul
Maybe what your Nook needs isn’t a software but a hardware boost. A new cover, a stylus for drawing or taking notes, or even external speakers can give you a novel experience.

Other Uses

1. Tech Workshops & DIY Kits
There are plenty of DIY kits and workshops that teach you to repurpose old tech. Maybe it’s turning your Nook into a part of a robot, or perhaps integrating it into a larger digital system like a home theater control panel.

2. Garden Buddy
Strange as it may sound, your Nook can assist in gardening. From apps that remind you when to water plants to ones that provide information on various plant species – it can be your gardening companion.


The beauty of tech is in its versatility. Devices like the Nook Tablet, which might seem outdated in the face of modern tech advancements, still carry the essence of innovation and functionality.

It’s all about perspective and a little bit of creativity. So, before you decide to stow away or discard your old Nook, consider the myriad of possibilities it holds. You might just find a new appreciation for it.


Can I upgrade the software on my old Nook Tablet?

Yes, but it might be limited to the versions supported by the hardware. Sometimes, third-party developers offer unofficial upgrades.

Is it safe to donate my Nook with my data on it?

Always wipe your device clean before donating or selling. This ensures your personal data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

How can I ensure my Nook is recycled properly?

Always go for recognized e-waste recycling programs. Your local municipality might have information on this.

Remember, gadgets are only as old as our imagination (or their battery life) allows them to be. Give your Nook a new lease on life, and you might just rediscover its charm!


  • Chris Chamberlan

    Chris Chamberlan, passionate animal welfare activist and USC graduate, conducted undercover RSPCA missions exposing slaughterhouse malpractices. A vegan and advocate for humane treatment, Chris has spoken at international conferences, been involved in vegan outreach, and founded Solarpunk Solutions for sustainability. His blending of animal welfare with eco-living principles for a compassionate future.

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