Not to be outdone by rival Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble says the Nook electronic reader is its best-selling item in the bookseller's nearly 40-year history.
B&N announced the milestone Thursday, three days after Amazon proclaimed the Kindle its best-selling product in the 15 years the online retailer has been in business. Both devices are available for less than $150 and target mostly avid readers who prefer to carry their books and periodicals in a single, lightweight device.
Most dedicated readers use E Ink's monochromatic digital paper display, which is easier on a reader's eyes because it does not use a backlight like a laptop's LCD color display. B&N introduced an LCD-based Nook in October to add color capabilities to the line and to differentiate the product from Amazon's Kindle. B&N said Thursday that the color Nook was its best-selling gift of the holiday season.
B&N, the world's largest bookstore, sells more digital books online than physical books. On Christmas Day, the company sold almost 1 million digital books for the Nook. Among the best-selling titles of the holiday season were 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."
Amazon.com announced in July that it had reached a "tipping point" in which it was now selling more digital books than hardcover books.
Analysts believe Amazon.com is the leader in the e-reader market. The online retailer and B&N do not release sales numbers for their respective products, choosing to describe sales momentum through milestones and vague references to "millions" of units sold. The vendors sell their e-readers online, as well as through other retailers, including Best Buy and Wal-Mart Stores.