'Upgrade' to a Nook, get 30 free e-books

Barnes & Noble is letting anyone who currently owns an e-reader simply show the device and buy a Nook to replace it to receive the free titles.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
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The Barnes & Noble Nook Color.
The Barnes & Noble Nook Color. Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble is using free e-books to entice current e-reader owners to also buy a Nook.

Starting tomorrow, consumers who head to Barnes & Noble stores with their current e-reader in hand and buy a Nook will receive 30 free titles. The e-books, which will come on a free 2GB microSD card, span several genres, including cooking, classics, and history. The retail value of the free e-books is $315, the company said.

Barnes & Noble's offer won't require users to trade in their old e-readers. Instead, they simply need to show it to employees to take advantage of the deal. According to Barnes & Noble, the deal is available on the company's standard Nook, which retails for $139, or the Nook Color, which costs $249.

In its announcement of the offer, Barnes & Noble was quick to say it believes that users buying its Nook to replace another device would be receiving an "upgrade," further igniting debate over which e-reader--the Nook or the Kindle--is best. (CNET's John Falcone helps make it easier for consumers to make that determination by outlining how the e-readers perform across many different categories, including flexibility, public library support, hardware features, and more.)

In the end, Falcone points to CNET's current recommendations in the e-reader space, which name the Barnes & Noble Nook as the best overall e-ink reader. The Amazon Kindle with Special Offers earns top honors as the best bargain e-ink reader. The Barnes and Noble Nook Color is tops in the sub-$250 color e-reader category.

Barnes & Noble will be offering its selection of free e-books "while supplies last."