By hook or by crook, B&N launches the nook

Barnes & Noble has officially introduced its electronic reader – it calls it the nook – and claims it is the world’s most advanced eBook reader.

The nook costs $259, has 2GB of memory, and uses an E Ink display. It lets you make notes and highlight passages and also check for the meaning of words using a built-in dictionary.

It also allows you to share eBooks with others for up to 14 days at a time. You choose the book you want to share and send it to a friend’s reader, cell phone or computer.

You navigate the nook using a full color touchscreen so you can browse the titles of the book on your machine.

The device supports AT&T’s 3G wireless network and wi-fi. Barnes & Noble stores provide free wi-fi.