Yesterday, The Verge reported that after sluggish sales, Barnes & Noble is looking to put less effort into making e-readers and tablets. I've never had much love for Nook tablets, but the Nook Simple Touch is a pretty great e-ink reader that doesn't read only proprietary e-book formats out of the box, and if Nook gets out of the e-reader game altogether, that takes out the biggest Kindle competitor in the business. This doesn't mean that Nook e-books are over; most people in the industry suspect that Microsoft is going to lean on Nook pretty heavily in the coming years to make up for their lack of an Amazon, iBooks, or Google Play-style e-book market.
As this is all going on, B&N founder Leonard Riggio is looking to buy the brick-and-mortar business from Barnes & Noble, stripping it away from Nook and the chain's college bookstores. This is a gutsy, all-or-nothing move that focuses directly on bookstores as the future of the company.