Barnes & Noble Ships Smaller, Cheaper Nook

In an attempt by Barnes & Noble to further strengthen its position in the growing ebook market, the company has unveiled a smaller, cheaper version of its Nook e-reader.

The new Nook e-reader, priced at $139, features a 15 centimeter (6 inches) display, and weighs almost 35% less than the earlier version, the company revealed.

Barnes & Noble is the largest book retailer in the US. After years of dominating the print book industry, it entered the ebook market in October 2009. Although it is far behind Amazon's Kindle in terms of market share, it is also firmly in second place with about 25 percent of the ebook market.

Other e-readers, produced by Sony, Kobo and others, control much smaller corners of the market. More general devices, such as the iPad, are usually not included even though users can read ebooks on them.

“We’re convinced this is the best value in the dedicated e-reader market,” said William Lynch, the Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble, Bloomberg reports.

The device has already been made available in the company’s online store for purchase, and it is expected to start shipping in June.

Mr. Lynch refrained from commenting on the rumored offer by Liberty Media to buy out his company for $1 billion.