Price wars: Nook discounts e-reader

During 2012, a whole raft of e-readers has come onto the market. Whereas once, the Kindle was really the only way to go, the choice is now overwhelming.

And, with competition for consumer cash hotting up in the run up to Christmas, it can only be good news for customers, as prices are dropping.

First, we saw discounts tied in with the American sales phenomenon Black Friday, which has migrated across the Pond to offer money off to British consumers too.

Retailing titan Amazon discounted its Kindle Fire, the older model rather than the HD one, to a bargain £99, with thousands upon thousands of people taking advantage of the deal to snap up Christmas gifts.

Now, Barnes & Noble has become the latest e-reader manufacturer to drop prices. Starting today, it has announced its Nook Simple Touch e-reader will have $20 off, with a new price point of $79.

It’s not the cheapest the device has been on sale for. Walmart has previously sold refurbished models of the Simple Touch for $50 but appears to be now out of stock. And, Barnes & Noble’s own Black Friday offer saw the device on sale for $60.

But, if you missed out on those deals, you might want to take advantage of the $79 price if you want to pick up a Nook before Christmas.

The move comes after Barnes & Noble announced quarterly losses in its Nook division had increased as the bookseller invested more into its e-readers and tablets to keep pace with bigger rivals.

Whether you choose a Nook really depends on the type of e-reader you want, and what you want it to do.

The Simple Touch isn’t a full-blown tablet like you get with Google’s Nexus 7 or Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD. But it does have a touch screen you can use for flipped over pages, navigating menus and choosing new reading material.

But for those who want their e-reader to do only the basics, simply for reading, this type of e-ink screen, rather than one that is backlit, can be a really good choice.

It puts less strain on your eyes and is better for reading outdoors. So, if you’re looking for an e-reader to take on holiday with you to read your favourite novel on the beach or round by the pool, then the Nook could be for you.

And, it will mean you won’t get tempted away from the written word to search Facebook for fresh comments or play Angry Birds.

The price point now means this touchscreen device is in a competitive range with Amazon’s most basic touchscreen-free Kindle reader, which costs between $69 and $89.

“Previously available at the low price of $99 and always without the distracting ads,” says Barnes & Noble’s statement, “Nook Simple Touch is now available for only $79, making it a must-have deal this holiday season for anyone who loves to read.”

The price drop just might well seal the deal to put the Nook Simple Touch on digital bookworms’ holiday shopping lists.

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