A Look at the Nook

Barnes & Noble's new e-reader finally gives Amazon's Kindle some serious competition

Illustration by Serge Bloch for TIME

There's been a lot of fuss about Amazon's Kindle e-reader. But it's not high-class, top-shelf fuss — the fuss has a slightly tinny, synthetic quality to it. For example, Amazon announced that on Christmas Day, for the first time ever, it sold more e-books than regular paper books. Which is impressive. Except Amazon won't say how many e-books that is. Or even how many Kindles are out there.

Yes, Kindle has been getting the most attention among e-readers, but that's partly because it hasn't had much credible competition beyond...

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