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” 800×600 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 cheap and e-ink to read the generic EPUBs you get from Baen, Project Gutenberg, or elsewhere, it might be a worthwhile investment. (See our review of the reader from 2011.)

It’s worth noting, of course, that the current new price for these e-readers is only $60 right now, down from its usual $80. So a $40 refurb might not be as good a deal as it appears.

As in past years, this selloff probably means B&N is getting ready to introduce some new e-reading hardware. You would think they’d see this as throwing good money after bad by now, but I suppose they keep hoping that this time they’ll get it right and knock Amazon off its perch. Who knows how much longer B&N e-books will be around? But at least this reader reads EPUB, the most commonly-used format outside of Amazon, so even if B&N goes under it will still have its uses.


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