much like Amazon, Barnes and Noble refuses to issue actual sales figures. The closest we get to that is Steve's boast that the Nook's release has fueled a 67 percent increase in online ebook sales -- an effect that would have been even greater if the company had more stock of the device to sell. In the long term, he sees the Nook as a stimulant of traffic and sales, both in its retail and online stores, and a central component of his company's strategy. As to the iPad? Steve skirted that question by noting that B&N ebooks are also available on PC, Mac, iPhone and BlackBerry devices. Which is good to know.