Why Won't Books Download to My Samsung Tablet?

By Andrew Aarons

Samsung’s tablets -- the Tab, in its various incarnations -- are like most other Android tablets on the market in a few key ways. They have a touchscreen through which you interact with the device, they can connect to the Internet via a data connection or Wi-Fi, and they use the same apps through the Google Play store. You can download books through the Google Books app or through another company’s book app.

Connection Errors: Wi-Fi

As obvious as it might sound, you need to have an active Internet connection in order to be able to download books through Google Books on your Tab. Swipe down from the top of the screen and check to see that Wi-Fi is enabled. If so, ensure that you can browse the Web -- being connected to a Wi-Fi network doesn’t ensure that you can download through apps; some Wi-Fi networks, such as those in coffee shops and airports, require additional authentication after joining the network.

Connection Errors: 3G

Some mobile carriers in the United States offer data plans for tablets including the Tab family, meaning you can use your Tab outside of Wi-Fi areas as long as you have a cellular data subscription through the company. Downloading books while roaming may take a little longer than usual if the cell signal is weak, or might not start at all if you’ve left the cell network’s range. To check that 3G is enabled, swipe the Tab to unlock it and then tap “Apps | Settings | More Settings | Mobile” and look for check marks beside “Mobile networks.”

Google Books Downtime

Google has noted that occasionally its Google Books servers have issues that cause books that you purchase or download to not appear in your Google Books app. Google provides a workaround, however. Log in to Google Play in a Web browser (see Resources) and then click “My Orders and Devices” along the bottom of the screen. Click on the arrow beside the book you want to re-download to your Tab and choose “Add to my Library.”

Nook Problems

In an attempt to cross-pollinate platforms, Barnes & Noble released an Android app for users of the Nook e-Book reader. Anyone who has paid for a title through Nook can download and read that book on the Tab, though many users reported issues downloading to the Tab through the Nook app. Any download issues that occur within an app are subject to the same considerations as other downloads: If your connection isn’t working, or if there are errors with the book company’s servers, the download won’t work.