Barnes & Noble e-reader on the way?

There's no official word from Barnes & Noble, but according to media reports, the company will introduce its own e-reader Tuesday in New York City. For a sneak peek, take a look at some Gizmodo photos, which show a nifty device with a black and white e-ink screen like the Kindle has — and a multi-touch display like an iPhone underneath.

The New York Times reports that B&N has been talking to publishers about a new model that allows users to “lend” an e-book to a friend -- a feature that could help the bookseller market the device to members of its book clubs program. However, publishers are reluctant to approve the sharing feature.

The new device, if ready to compete with the Kindle and Sony Reader during the holiday shopping season, could make consumers dizzy. And things will get even more complicated whenever Apple unveils its own tablet/e-reader and Google creates its "cloud library."

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