Nook e-reader on sale Nov. 30 in Barnes & Noble stores

In-store signs reflect date and pamphlets are cut to match Nook's size

The Nook, a $259 e-reader from Barnes & Noble Inc., will hit the booksellers' stores on Nov. 30. That's in time for holiday shoppers, but too late for "Black Friday," Nov. 27, the traditional day of pre-holiday sales by retailers.

In-store signs began advertising the sales date recently, although Barnes & Noble didn't issue a press release announcing the actual date. When it announced the e-reader on Oct. 20, it only said sales would start in late November, meaning it will meet that commitment with no room to spare.

Barnes & Noble has 774 retail outlets and presumably will offer the Nook in all those stores. Even though the in-store signs say the device can be pre-ordered now online and in the store, a spokeswoman today said something slightly different -- that demo units and units for sale will begin shipping to stores on that date.

The Nook is 7.7 inches by 4.9 inches and is a half inch thick. It weighs 11.2 ounces. The gray-scale E-ink display is 6 inches across diagonally, with a separate 3.5-inch color display below that can be used to search for book titles and for other purposes with its touchscreen keyboard.

Barnes & Noble is comparing Nook to the Kindle 2, which is also $259. Kindle uses the Sprint Nextel Inc. wireless network for downloads of books, while Barnes & Noble will rely on AT&T and Wi-Fi. Most first releases and other popular books on both devices will sell for $9.95

Barnes & Noble customers will be able to actually hold the device Nov. 30, but can now pick up a pamphlet in stores that is cut to the size and shape of the Kindle. The pamphlet is printed on paper, ironically, a nod to the old-fashioned technology that e-readers someday could replace.

After its Nook announcement, Barnes & Noble on Oct. 27 said it would sell the QUE from Plastic Logic Inc. next year in its stores. That device is a larger e-reader focused on business professionals.

To express your thoughts on Computerworld content, visit Computerworld's Facebook page, LinkedIn page and Twitter stream.
Fix Windows 10 problems with these free Microsoft tools
Shop Tech Products at Amazon