Kindle rival Nook ebook reader coming to UK crannies

US bookshop Barnes and Noble is bringing its Nook ebook reader to Britain to take on the Amazon Kindle this Christmas.

One of Amazon's rival is looking to close the book on the Kindle here in the UK. US bookshop Barnes and Noble is bringing its Nook ebook reader here in time for Christmas.

The Nook Simple Touch will go on sale to British readers of ebooks in October, alongside the Simple Touch with Glow Light. The 6.5-inch touchscreen readers pack Wi-Fi to download ebooks from the online Nook store, as well as newspapers, magazines and comics.

The Nook boasts 2GB of storage and a micro-USB slot to stuff in even more paperbacks. It supports the ePub and PDF formats, but is incompatible with ebooks bought from Amazon in the AZW or KF8 formats. Like the Kindle, the Nook reader talks to ebook apps on your computer, smart phone and tablet so you can read your book on whichever device you have handy.

Barnes and Noble will open this new chapter by selling the Nook online at nook.co.uk. After that, the US bookseller has pledged to announce partnerships with "leading retailers" soon, including both "physical and online channels".

But which retailer are we looking at? The Sony range of ebook readers is in shops already, while  Waterstones has a deal with Amazon to sell the Kindle and  WH Smith has a similar deal to sell the Kobo Touch.

Assuming neither high-street bookseller ditches their current deal or sells the Nook alongside the Kindle or Kobo, that leaves us with chains that don't focus on books -- as far as we can think, there aren't any other nationwide booksellers.

One possibility is an electronic chain like Dixons Retail, the group that includes Currys and PC World. But my money's on Tesco: books are established in supermarkets these days, and ebooks are big business too. Just look at Fifty Shades of Grey , which owes much of its phenomenal success to ebook sales.

Hopefully Nook ebook readers will be followed by Barnes and Noble's low-cost Android tablet, rival to the Amazon Kindle Fire. The Kindle Fire is yet to cross the pond, leaving the Google Nexus 7 to stake its claim as the only budget Android tablet worth owning. 

Would you buy a Nook, or is the Kindle the last word in ebooks? Plot your thoughts in the comments or tell us a story on our Facebook page.

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About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.

 

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