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Nook vs. Kindle

10:10 AM -- Barnes and Noble's Nook e-reader device begins shipping today, and the reviews coming in so far are positive, though many hesitate to call it a "Kindle killer" just yet.

According to Gizmodo's Wilson Rothman, the e-reader market is now a "two-horse race" between Nook and Amazon's Kindle.

One advantage the Nook has over the Kindle is that it allows users to lend books to other users. But Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos told The New York Times he's not feeling threatened.

"The current thing being talked about is extremely limited. You can lend to one friend. One time. You can’t pick two friends, not even serially, so once you’ve loaned one book to one friend, that’s it," he said.

The Nook also features a color touch screen, something else the Kindle lacks.

In other e-book news:

  • Also in the Amazon chief's NYT interview: Bezos has some advice for Kindle users who like to read in the tub. "I’ll tell you what I do," he said. "I take a one-gallon Ziploc bag, and I put my Kindle in my one-gallon Ziploc bag, and it works beautifully. It’s much better than a physical book, because obviously if you put your physical book in a Ziploc bag you can’t turn the pages. But with Kindle, you can just push the buttons."

    Bezos also said that for every 100 physical copies of a book Amazon sells, it also sells 48 Kindle copies, though some still suspect e-books are losing money for the retail giant.

  • Amazon today also shot down rumors that it plans to open brick-and-mortar stores in Britain and declined to comment on whether a partnership with a retailer was in the works.

    Meanwhile, Barnes and Noble is planning to use its brick-and-mortar presence to its advantage: When users take their Nooks to Barnes and Noble locations, the devices automatically sign on to the store's WiFi network and are offered free treats that range from downloads to cookies from the cafe. B&N also plans to let Nook users skim entire e-books while in the store.

    — Erin Barker, Digital Content Reporter, Cable Digital News

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