Sunday, January 2, 2011

Nook is Best-Selling Item at Barnes & Noble

On Thursday, December 30, Barnes & Noble announced that the Nook, the company’s popular line of e-book readers, is now their best-selling item.

They went on to say that they sell more e-books than any other physical book on their website at The company, which has been around for 40 years now, has sold “millions” of devices. They now offer a variety of different devices in the Nook line including versions of the devices that are available with 3G, Wi-Fi, and color. Barnes & Noble said that the Nook Color, which was introduced in October just eight weeks before Christmas, was the company’s top selling gift for the 2010 holiday season.

A press release stated that the device “has received high praise and critical acclaim from leading technology and consumer media outlets including being named ‘Editors' Choice’ and the ‘Best Android Tablet of The Year.’”

The company did not volunteer any numbers concerning the top selling device, but they did say that the sales numbers for the Nook Color have “continued to exceed the company’s highest expectations.” Barnes & Noble did, however, release some numbers concerning sales on Christmas Day. The company said that 1 million Nook e-books were purchased and downloaded on Christmas Day alone. The top downloaded titles included James Patterson's "Cross Fire," Stieg Larsson's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," John Grisham's "The Confession," and former President George W. Bush's memoir "Decision Points."

"Nook Color became the gift of choice over the holidays for people who love to read everything – books, magazines, newspapers, children's books and more – in rich, beautiful color," said William Lynch, the CEO of Barnes & Noble, in a statement. "The success of Nook Color, along with our unique ability to market Nook devices to readers in our stores and through our strong channel partnerships with Best Buy, Walmart and Books-a-Million, resulted in the continued explosive growth of our digital content business and our Nook line, our most successful products ever."

This announcement from Barnes & Noble came just a few days after the announcement from Amazon that the Kindle 3 is the best-selling product in the company’s history. Like Barnes & Noble, Amazon has not released any specific numbers, but they did say that they have sold “millions” of devices as well.

In July, Amazon announced that they were at the “tipping point” at which they were beginning to sell more digital books than actual physical hardcover books. Analysts now believe that is the current leader in the e-reader market.

Unfortunately, since neither Amazon nor Barnes & Noble have released any specific, concrete numbers, there is no way to compare the sales numbers of the two companies to determine who the true leader is.

For those curious about the Nook Color, the press release describes it as “the first full-color touch Reader's Tablet that integrates books, magazines, newspapers and children's books – all in amazing, rich color in a device that weighs less than a pound. It features a stunning 7-inch VividView™ Color Touchscreen and is the most social reading device ever built.”

The device is available at Barnes & Noble,, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and Books-A-Million stores. The Nook Wi-Fi is available for $149, the Nook 3G is available for $199, and the Nook Color is available for $249.

I really hope that Barnes & Noble and Amazon release their sales numbers for their e-readers sometime in the near future. It would be really interesting to compare them side by side. It’s incredible how well e-readers are doing. This holiday season has definitely proved that the public is very excited about the possibilities included with e-readers. At first I didn’t exactly understand how an e-reader could replace a physical book. I’m a pretty avid reader and I like the feeling of a hardback book, but the convenience of an e-reader has won me over. To have an entire library in your hands at all times is incredible. I can definitely say that they have made a e-book fan out of me. I’m glad that the companies are both doing well, and I can’t wait to soon see who the true leader in the e-reader market is.

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