This is an update of a deal from a couple months ago.
I love e-books. Always have, always will. My first "e-reader" was a PalmPilot. These days, I read on whatever device is handy: Nook Color, Kindle Fire, and iPhone.
What I find truly incredible is how affordable dedicated e-readers have become. Remember when the original Kindle was $359 -- and Amazon couldn't keep up with the orders?
Anyway, while supplies last, RedTag has the refurbished Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch Reader for $69, plus $1.95 for shipping. That's an insanely good deal.
Update: Dang! Already gone. But here's a close second: Buy.com has the refurbished Nook Simple Touch for $79 shipped -- only 8 bucks more than RedTag was charging (and still $20 less than new).
The Simple Touch is a 6-inch e-reader with a touch-screen interface, e-ink display, and ultraslim, ultralight design. It beat Amazon.com's touch-screen Kindle to market by about five months, and has received widespread praise (including a CNET Editors' Choice).
Although it's refurbished, Barnes & Noble backs the Simple Touch with a one-year warranty, same as new units. And it comes with the same items (charger, manual), so there's really nothing to lose by going the refurb route -- and saving a cool $30.
Why not splurge on a more capable color tablet? Price is one obvious reason, but CNET's Scott Stein recently made the case for using a dedicated e-reader instead of a tablet -- for book reading, that is.
I'm inclined to agree with him, as I find that when I read on, say, the Kindle Fire, I'm frequently distracted from my book. It's hard to resist the siren song of e-mail, Web browsing, Angry Birds Space, and the like when they're just a tap or two away.
With a regular old e-reader, however, all you get is your book -- and that's a good thing. Hence I'm seeing the value in owning a reader even if you already own a tablet.
I don't know how much longer RedTag will have the Simple Touch at this price; it's been listed there for the last couple days. I'd say if you want one, act fast!
By the way, in case you missed it last time around, be sure to check out four matchmaking services for e-book lending and borrowing. Two of them are Nook-friendly, giving you a way to nab extra reading material for free (or at least dirt-cheap).
Bonus deal: Looking for an awesome poor-man's Sonos? Buy.com has the Belkin F8Z492TTP Bluetooth Music Receiver for $24.99 shipped. Plug this little gizmo into your existing stereo and you can stream music from your smartphone, tablet, PC, or any other Bluetooth-enabled device.
Bonus deal No. 2: Today only, Best Buy is offering iTunes gift cards (via e-mail) for 20 percent off. That means you can get a $15 card for $12, a $25 card for $20, and so on. These are always a welcome gift, and Mother's Day, Father's Day, and graduation day are just around the corner.