There's a new e-reader in town.

Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) is introducing a new Nook as it tries to remain competitive in the e-book market.

There is little that is surprising about the new Nook. It's cheap -- at $139 -- because it has to remain competitive with's (Nasdaq: AMZN) similarly priced Wi-Fi Kindle. It's smaller and lighter than the original Nook, with a nifty two-month battery life between charges (if Wi-Fi is turned off). The six-inch display is also a touch screen, because Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad has turned us all into tablet pokers.

Even the news didn't blindside anyone. Barnes & Noble had coughed up May 24 as an announcement date in an SEC filing several weeks ago.

The only thing that's a surprise is the silly name. This isn't just the all-new Nook. It is literally the All-New Nook.

This is unlikely to be a game changer for Barnes & Noble when it begins shipping next month. Amazon is too far ahead with the Kindle, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is already dropping hints about an upcoming tablet-esque reader.

What the All-New Nook -- and I do so hate that name -- will probably do is help the bookseller's chances of getting John Malone's Liberty Capital (Nasdaq: LCAPA) to sweeten his offer of $17 a share to buy Barnes & Noble whole.

The new e-reader proves that the struggling retailer is still willing to bankroll innovation, even if it means the quicker demise of its flagship bookstore empire. By hanging in there on the digital battlefront, Barnes & Noble becomes more than just the next old school media retailer losing ground to Web-served solutions. Malone's offer was a surprise, but e-reader relevance is the clearest path to smoking out a rival bidder since even stodgy private equity firms know better than to buy into a fading retail category.

The All-New Nook is lighter, easier to handle, and priced aggressively. Barnes & Noble is hoping to follow suit.

Have you recently become an e-reader convert? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.