John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Barnes & Noble to Amazon: Mine Is Bigger Than Yours

Six years after shuttering its first e-book effort, Barnes & Noble has embarked on a new one. Monday afternoon, the bookseller announced what it describes as “the world’s largest eBookstore,” an online storefront that boasts 700,000 titles.

That’s substantially more than the 300,000 available for download on Amazon’s Kindle service, though half-a-million of them are public-domain books provided by Google (GOOG). They’ll be compatible with Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone and iPod touch, BlackBerry smartphones, and, when it finally arrives at market, the Plastic Logic eReader, a Kindle DX-size e-book reader for which the Barnes & Noble eBookstore will be the exclusive storefront.

“Today marks the first phase of our digital strategy, which is rooted in the belief that readers should have access to the books in their digital library from any device, from anywhere, at any time,” said president William J. Lynch.

With a few noteworthy exceptions, of course. E-books sold by Barnes & Noble (BKS) won’t be compatible with Sony’s (SNE) Sony Reader Digital Book or Amazon’s (AMZN) Kindle, which they are clearly intended to undermine.

To what degree they’ll manage that is anyone’s guess. One thing is sure: We’ll almost certainly be seeing an e-book price war in the near future. And when Apple finally gets around to uncrating that tablet/e-reader device it’s been working on, all bets are off.

Below, video of the Plastic Logic Reader demo from our D7 conference in late May.

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Silicon Valley is really quite a boring place. The story of start-ups should be a documentary on PBS, not a weekly reality show on Bravo.

— Nick Bilton on “Start-Ups”