Is the Nook Selling Like Hot Cakes?

Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS) announced Tuesday that stronger-than-expected demand has prompted the company to start shipping its new Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight ahead of schedule. In apparent anticipation that mothers everywhere are pining for a new Nook, the company said that customers who wish to receive the device in time for Mother’s Day must pre-order now at stores or online as demand is high and quantities are limited.

However, the media retailer’s stock was down 5.7 percent tot $12.64 in afternoon trading Tuesday, according to the Wall Street Journal. Shares have fallen 12 percent this year as the company faces stiff competition in the e-reader and tablet market. Barnes & Noble has had to sink a considerable investment into its its Nook business to stay competitive with Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). As you may already know, Apple knocked the cover off the ball yesterday during earnings and continues to dominate tablet sales. So, Nook has serious work cut out to stay in the tablet race.

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The Nook, which retails for $139, will be shipped in the coming week to customers who pre-ordered the device. The new Nook’s standout feature is the versatility delivered by its patent-pending GlowLight, which the company says “eliminates the number-one problem couples have in bed” by allowing users to read in the dark without disturbing or waking the person next to them. Barnes & Noble says the device is also “exceptional for reading …on the brightest beach.”

The number of pre-orders already received was not disclosed. According to the company, limited quantities will be available in stores in early May. Customers can check out the device now at any Barnes & Noble store.