Barnes & Noble Cuts GlowLight Nook Price To $119 As Amazon Prepares To Ship Its Paperwhite Kindles

Amazon’s shiny new Kindle Paperwhite will start trickling out of the company’s myriad warehouses in short order, but it seems e-reading rival Barnes & Noble won’t let Amazon set foot in the illuminated e-reader market unanswered.

To that end, B&N has announced that it has cut the price of its conceptually similar Nook SimpleTouch with GlowLight from $139 to $119 — the same price as Amazon’s ad-supported Paperwhite model.

It’s easy to look at the move as a knee-jerk reaction to Amazon’s impending Paperwhite Kindle launch, but Barnes & Noble claims it’s anything but. Apparently, the price cut has been in the works for “months” now as part of the company’s planning, though I’ve got to wonder if Amazon’s announcement earlier this month may have helped force B&N’s hand a bit. After all, it has gotten to be pretty good at using price cuts to try and disrupt some of Amazon’s thunder — as Kindle Fire HD rumors picked up steam last August, B&N cut the prices of its Nook Tablet line. Of course, Barnes now has some neat new tablets to push, as we head into the holidays, but the move at least keeps those older tablets in competition with Amazon’s earlier Fire.

B&N may have just made the cut official, but a few retailers were perhaps a bit too quick to pull the trigger. Target and Walmart (two companies that have coincidentally dropped Amazon’s e-readers from their inventory) both acknowledged the Glowlight-enabled Nook’s updated price yesterday. Now the B&N site reflects that pricing change as well, and just in time — the country’s annual bout of holiday shopping hysteria is just around the corner, and this move toward pricing parity should force consumers to weigh their e-reading options based on each device’s merits rather than which would hurt their wallets the least.