Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet
Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet PA

A free Barnes and Noble Nook sounds like a good deal. But would you take the eReader if it comes with a $20 per month New York Times subscription?

The bookstore is offering customers a free Nook Simple Touch, normally $99, for free -- or a half-price Nook Simple Touch Color, normally $199 -- with one year's worth of the paper. For those more interested in browsing the entertainment and gossip columns, Barnes and Noble also offers $50 off a Nook Color with a 1-year People Magazine subscription. The promotion runs through March 9.

A year's worth of the Grey Lady adds up to $240 a year and at $9.99 a month, People magazine adds up to $120. Readers contemplating the New York Times deal with have to decide whether or not the Nook is worth $240 a year when most content is already on the internet for free.

This is the first promotion of its kind, B&N VP Jonathon Shar said, as quoted by Wired magazine. We are currently working with other publishers to bring similar offers and value to our customers.

PC World's Jeff Bertolucci points out that the Barnes & Noble deal costs less than The New York Times' All Digital Access Pass - unlimited access to content and Times Reader 2.0 on iPads and most smartphones - for $424 a year.

Both Barnes & Noble and The New York Times have been actively looking for ways to hold on to subscribers in a digital age. Last week, the bookseller said it was rethinking strategies for their popular eReader, including a spinoff, according to Fox News Business.

So far, the bookstore has avoiding the troubles that brought down Borders, which outsourced its web sales to Amazon. Barnes & Noble said it estimated that Nook sales in the last nine weeks of 2011 grew 70% from the previous two months, The New York Times reported last week.

Would you take the deal?