Barnes & Nobel Offers Free Wi-Fi to All (July 29, 2009) — Barnes & Noble, the world’s largest chain of bookstores, said it would be offering free Wi-Fi connection through an AT&T in all 777 of its stores in 50 states for more than 700,000 e-book titles.

barnes_and_nobleIt will provide customers with a convenient way to buy and download electronic books.

B&N is boosting its e-book business to counter the success rival Amazon has had with its Kindle e-reader.

Customers also will be able to download free B&N app on their wireless devices to obtain information on in-store events, locate other stores and specials such as e-coupons.

The device, which provides a free wireless connection to buy and download e-books from Amazon, accounts for 35% of book sales for those editions in which Kindle versions are available.

In competing with Amazon, B&N just about matched Amazon’s e-book pricing of about $10 a title. Earlier this year, B&N bought Fictionwise, the owner or The site is one of the most popular e-book stores on the Web.

Nevertheless, e-book sales today are small compared to print sales, totaling $100 million last year, according to some estimates.

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