Free e-books is a carrot that most e-book manufacturers dangle in an attempt to hook potential readers. The thing is, that list is almost always a collection of public domain titles that you could pick up for free anyway. Bundling these really just saves you a few minutes of effort —although for many buyers (who have already read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and the usual suspects), those free e-books are very quickly shuffled off the device to make room for more current titles.
Barnes and Noble is trying something a bit different to lure buyers into switching from their current e-reader platform to a NOOK: 30 free e-books.
Here's the deal. You have to go to a Barnes and Noble store with a non-NOOK e-reader in hand. The idea is that you are going to "upgrade" to a NOOK, so you need proof that you were using some other e-reader before seeing the light. Show the nice sales person that e-reader and buy any NOOK (NOOK First Edition, NOOK Color or the new NOOK Simple Touch Reader), and they'll include a 2GB MicroSD card pre-loaded with 30 NOOK e-books valued at $315. Before you get to excited, it's important to know the fine print. For one thing, you don't get to actually choose the e-books, you get a pre-selected collection with representation from a variety of genres. These aren't all going to be everyone's cup of tea and they aren't all current best sellers. They even slipped a few "classics" in the list (such as Little Women and Don Quixote). They are also NOOK e-books, so you're not going to be able to run home and load them on your Kindle. Still, the selection is generally more current than the freebies that usually ship with an e-reader and instead of being stored in internal memory, you do get that free 2GB MicroSD card.
Full press release here, offer on the Barnes and Noble website, full list of free titles here. While supplies last and in store only. You don't have to turn in your existing e-reader (this isn't a Kindles for e-books amnesty program), just show it to someone.