Chicago (IL) – Barnes & Noble is going after Amazon with what the company claims is the world’s largest eBook store, holding more than 700,000 titles. Even more interesting, Barnes & Noble said that it will have exclusive rights to distribute Plastic Logic’s fantastic reader device, which may be the Kindle’s biggest threat today.
The company said that the eBooks will be compatible with many electronic computing devices out there, including the iPhone and iPod touch, Blackberry smartphones, as well as “most” Windows and Mac computers.
More than 700,000 titles are available, which, according to Barnes & Noble, include “hundreds of new releases and bestsellers at only $9.99.” More than one million titles will be available by next year, “inclusive of every available eBook from every book publisher and every available eBook original,” the company said.
The current stock covers more than a half-million public domain books from Google, which can be downloaded for free.
Barnes & Noble uses and upgraded version of its eReader application, which was part of the company’s Fictionwise acquisition earlier this year and is available for the iPhone and Blackberry smartphones, as well as regular Mac and Windows computers. First-time users of the eReader can download free eBooks, including titles such as Merriam-Webster’s Pocket Dictionary, Sense and Sensibility, Little Women, Last of the Mohicans, Pride and Prejudice, and Dracula.
Barnes & Noble will also have its own reader device to compete with Amazon’s Kindle. The company will tailor its store around the Plastic Logic eReader, which it expects to be available in “early 2010”. The ultrathin eReader, which measures 8.5 x 11 inches was first shown in late 2008. There was no information how much the device will cost.