Barnes and Noble has slashed the entry level price point for a large number of its tablet and e-reader lineup in the United Kingdom. In addition to the discounts, B&N is also donating 1,000 of its NOOK Simple Touch e-Readers to Beanstalk, a national literacy charity that recruits, vets, trains, and supports volunteers in schools.
The UK e-reader scene is quickly getting crowded with Kobo, Amazon, and B&N all vying for customers attention. In order to facilitate more sales and a larger footprint, B&N has reduced the entry level price-point for every single device it is currently selling. The NOOK Simple Touch is now £29, down from £79, while the The NOOK Simple Touch GlowLight is just £69, down from £109. The tablets have also seen a dramatic drop in price with the NOOK HD now available for £129, down from £159 and the NOOK HD+ is now selling for £179, down from £229.
The new pricing for all of Barnes and Nobles devices is partly attributed to a campaign called Get London Reading. Get London Reading was a campaign run by Booktrust, in association with the Mayor of London, to encourage Londoners to make more time for reading, and to celebrate London as an international center for books.
Booktrust issued the Get London Reading Challenge to booksellers, libraries, publishers, and arts organizations to get them to come up with ways of getting Londoners reading. Barnes and Noble says the new pricing scheme is for a limited time only, but my impression is that the company is dropping the prices to compete with other tablets and e-readers commonly available.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.