B&N Nook is Almost Here

by PocketGoddess on November 25, 2009

Barnes & Noble nook in-store display

I’m sure that most everyone is looking forward to turkey and football and parades and the start of the Christmas shopping season, but I’m excited about something else: the Barnes & Noble nook is almost here. If all goes according to plan, mine will be delivered on Tuesday, December the 1st. I’m thankful I pre-ordered as early as I did; new orders won’t even be shipping until the first week of January.

The local stores are already getting their nook displays, though there are no demo units or even accessories available at this time. My local store has the display front and center, and it’s obvious that it was designed to be staffed by a store employee. One of the strongest advantages of the nook is its close ties to physical Barnes & Noble stores for live demonstrations, as well as special offers and the ability to browse entire books for free when used in conjunction with an in-store WiFi network. There are locked cabinets below for storing extra stock, as well as a large counter that can be used for demonstrations.

There are plenty of nook-sized brochures available that help to explain the basics of what nook is all about as well as offering a quick and easy way to get a good idea of the size of the device. The back of the display, where the cases, reading lights, extra batteries, and such will be housed, features a much larger-than-life mockup of the nook so that folks can see how big the two screens are relative to the rest of the device, the placement of the controls, etc.

According to store employees, they won’t have any actual nooks available for sale until December the 5th, though they are hopeful that they will have a demo unit on the 30th. There is no information at this time on whether they will be carrying the full range of accessories or whether they will have a more limited selection, with the bulk of nook’s follow-on products available at the Barnes & Noble web site.

In somewhat related news, Amazon has announced that the latest firmware update for the Kindle 2 will improve the device’s battery life as well as add a native PDF reader. They have been advertising the Kindle heavily this holiday season, online and on television, and Amazon may stand to gain if folks who didn’t preorder the nook decide to jump ship. B&N is offering a special nook gift certificate for holiday gift giving, but that may not be enough to sway those who are disappointed by the limited supply of nook devices.

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