Following Microsoft’s investment of $300 million earlier this year, leading American book retailer Barnes & Noble has revealed plans to expand outside of North America for the first time, bringing its Kindle-rivalling NOOK e-reader to UK shores this coming October. Offering an array of over 2.5 million books, magazines and apps, nook.co.uk will become fully operational upon the launch of the hardware, which will itself be made available through bodies which Barnes & Noble currently refers to only as ‘well-known UK partners’ (so roll up and place your bets now! I’m giving very fair odds on it being Elton John and David Furnish.)
The first NOOK products to be made available will be the basic NOOK Simple Touch and the NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight, which appears to be exactly the same thing, only with a built-in light (which may or may not glow, we’re still doing the research on that one). The placeholder site currently up at nook.co.uk also seems to suggest that the NOOK tablet will follow soon after, so, you know, nothing too ambitious from Barnes & Noble for now, just trying to take on the Kindle AND the iPad. For anyone who isn’t quite prepared to sever the latter of those particular ties, NOOK apps will be made available for computers, tablets and smartphones. Do you think the word ‘NOOK’ features enough in this paragraph? NOOK.
William J. Lynch, CEO of Barnes & Noble, says in a statement: ‘We are proud to be able to offer our top-rated line of NOOK reading devices and our award-winning digital bookstore to the discerning and highly educated consumers in the UK,’ which ahahahaha, discerning – that’s adorable.
The cutest little exec in the business, with all those funny little words he says, continues: ‘We’re confident our award-winning technology, combined with our expansive content – including books, children’s books, magazines, apps, movies and more – will bring UK customers the option they’ve been waiting for.’ And if it doesn’t really seem like UK customers have been doing much in the way of waiting, you have to admire this kid’s moxie at least.
He was chief hack and music editor of webzine Brazen from 2006 to 2010, and hosted Left of the Dial on Subcity Radio from 2008 to 2011.
He can be heard semi-regularly on the podcast of Scottish cultural blog Scots Whay Hae ('20th best website in Scotland!' - The List), and in 2011 founded Seen Your Video, a film and music podcast and blog based in Glasgow. He has a Masters degree in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow that will never have any practical application. You are on a hiding to nothing if you follow him on Twitter expecting any kind of hot publishing scoop.