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What if Amazon bought Barnes & Noble?
March 14, 2014 | 11:12 am

There’s a peculiar phenomenon by which year-old articles sometimes show up again in news aggregators and social network feeds that for some reason see the month and day part of the date and miss the year. (It’s gotten me in trouble before.) But today it brings up an interesting blog post I missed the first time around. And while a lot has changed since the post was written in March 2013, it still bears a little bit of thinking about: might or should Amazon buy the struggling Barnes & Noble? There’s been a lot of speculation...

G Asset Management seeks to buy majority share of B&N, or B&N’s Nook subsidiary
February 21, 2014 | 4:19 pm

So what are we to make of this? An investment firm, G Asset Management, wants to buy 51% of Barnes & Noble in a deal working out to $22 per share. (Its current share price is $18.) This isn’t the first offer it’s made for the business, either. It offered $20 per share in November. If it can’t buy the whole thing, it wants to buy 51% of Barnes & Noble’s Nook business at $5 per share. The firm thinks that B&N should split its retail and Nook businesses. The interesting thing to me is that, if B&N were...

What will I do with my Nook Simple Touch now?
February 19, 2014 | 10:25 am

nook simple touchI wonder if my Nook Simple Touch will become a collector’s item. Most likely, it will just be exactly what it is now – a gadget collecting dust with the battery killed off long ago. I haven’t used my NST in months, maybe even a year. So, it was not surprising when I read on The Digital Reader that Barnes & Noble discontinued the Nook Touch. I didn’t have any major issues with my NST, but once I got my Google Nexus 7 two summers ago, it became my little computer away from my laptop, including an e-reader, RSS reader, Candy Crusher, Facebook...

Barnes & Noble names Nook division CEO Michael Huseby to overall CEO slot
January 8, 2014 | 2:20 pm

Barnes and Noble has just picked up a new overall CEO. Or at least a new-old one. Digital Book World and Publishers Weekly report that B&N has moved Michael Huseby, former CEO of the Nook division, into the top CEO spot left by William Lynch who vacated in July. Huseby said in a statement in the press release: My role, as I see it, is to enhance and unlock the value of these businesses for our shareholders. We are well-positioned in today’s dynamic reading and learning markets and confident in our ability to provide our customers...

Barnes & Noble bookseller LiveJournal community offers candid, depressing look behind the scenes at B&N stores
December 19, 2013 | 7:31 pm

Over on The Passive Voice, I found a link to a LJ community where Barnes & Noble employees anonymously discuss their work lives. I’ve been reading through a few comment threads, and wow is it depressing. You would sort of expect Barnes & Nobles to be decent places to work, wouldn’t you? All the books, the surrounding of pure distillate of culture on every shelf. It’s not an “everything store” for cheap and shoddy goods like Wal-Mart, after all. Surely they pay their employees a decent wage and treat them decently, right? Right? …wrong. The comments...

Independent bookseller suit against Amazon tossed, while Barnes & Noble faces SEC investigation
December 10, 2013 | 11:44 am

Pro tip: if you're going to file a lawsuit alleging "conspiracy," have more evidence in hand than just "they did something I don't like." Andrew Albanese reports at Publishers Weekly that Federal Judge Jed Rakoff just tossed out a lawsuit filed by independent booksellers alleging a conspiracy between the Big Six publishers and Amazon to restrain trade and lock rivals out of the Kindle platform. (Gosh, those publishers sure are busy, to be involved in one conspiracy with Apple against Amazon, and then another conspiracy with Amazon against everybody else at the same time! How did they ever keep everything...

Hello Android; Goodbye iPod Touch and iPad
December 2, 2013 | 6:25 pm

GEDC1592A couple of years ago, I wrote about how there was no good Android iPod Touch alternative. Then a couple of months ago, I discussed the possibility that the best iPod Touch alternative might be cheap Android smart phone. Shortly after that, I finally took the plunge into going Android all the way. I had experimented with Android before that, of course. I had an inexpensive Zeepad for several months before breaking the screen. It was almost unusably slow, but intriguing enough that I wanted to try a real Android experience. So, as chronicled here already, I picked up a cheap...

Factory-Refurbished 8-Inch Nook HD Android Tablet now $70 on eBay
October 25, 2013 | 12:32 pm

GEDC1556 Remember that 8” Nook HD refurb I got a couple of months ago? An eBay seller has a “limited quantity” of factory-refurbished units available at the amazing price of $70 each. (Just over 1,900 had been sold by the time I wrote this.) You can add a two-year SquareTrade warranty for another $17. (Update: The price went up to $80 after 2,000 units were sold. Still a great bargain, though.) As I’ve written elsewhere, this is a great little Android tablet. Maybe not so much if you stick with the stock B&N operating system, which will give you Google Play but...

First all-digital public library system a hit in Bexar County, Texas—with hundreds of e-reader gizmos and an eager young crew to explain them
October 20, 2013 | 1:11 pm

bibliotechLast year LibraryCity.org knocked the library system in Rockford, Illinois, for planning to spend around a quarter of its $1.19-million collection budget on e-books. A third of Rockfordians were living below the poverty line in 2009 by one estimate. And yet the local library initially wanted to start out with just 50 Kindle e-readers---hardly the best solution for people too poor or technophobic to buy and use e-book devices. The local NAACP and other groups yelled foul, just as they should have. So what’s happening down in Bexar County, Texas? BiblioTech, the world’s first all-digital public library system, opened there September 14...

Barnes & Noble puts e-readers, Nook HD tablet on sale
September 24, 2013 | 9:15 am

new-barnes-and-noble-nook-HDSpeaking of Barnes & Noble sales, Nate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader points out that B&N is running a more general sale on its Nook hardware, this week only. The Nook Simple Touch is $20 off, as I already mentioned, but so is the Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight, now $80 instead of $100. And the Nook HD has been knocked down to $110 or $130 for its 8GB and 16GB versions, respectively. The Nook HD in particular is worth a look. I’m enjoying my $90 refurbished unit immensely since I rooted it with CyanogenMod. (I’ll write about my...

Refurbished Nook Simple Touch: $40 on eBay
September 24, 2013 | 4:48 am

If you’re looking for a good cheap e-reader, an eBay seller is running a $40 with free shipping special on refurbished Nook Simple Touch units. This is B&N’s 2011 model, a 6” 800x600 unlit Pearl e-ink reader that can do EPUB, including Barnes & Noble’s and Adobe Digital Editions’ DRM. It has 2 GB of onboard storage, plus an SD card slot for loading more media. If you’re invested in Barnes & Noble’s content ecosystem (for example, you have a lot of e-books from eReader/Fictionwise that got imported to B&N after it shut those stores down), or just want something...

Refurbished Nook HD: First Impressions
September 7, 2013 | 2:55 am

GEDC1556A few days ago, Woot had a $90 special on refurbished 8 GB 7” Nook HD tablets. Since I accidentally cracked my Zeepad screen a few weeks ago and felt the need for a handy little 7” Android tablet, I figured why not. I ordered a case and screen protectors (from Amazon Prime!) and the whole thing arrived today. Installing the screen protectors turned out to be an exercise in frustration. I went through both of them, and still managed to get specks of dust trapped under the protector. ARGH! The case I ordered was white, as I was...