In an interview with CNBC, Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch discussed the company's possible spinoff of its Nook business, stating that "whatever we do... the Nook will continue to be Barnes & Noble's e-reader." He says that while there are many different options for separating the businesses, the Nook has benefited from B&N's bookstore "showrooms" (and vice-versa), so it's unlikely that any restructuring would untie B&N's physical and virtual media businesses from a consumer standpoint.

While Lynch touted the success of the Nook, he offered no suggestion that the company is leaning one way or another on a potential spinoff, and said that the decision won't necessarily be made quickly. To stave off concerns about the other side of B&N's business, Lynch quoted strong annual growth of 4.5-percent for sales of physical media like books and newspapers, and said that "there will always be bookstores in this country." Whether Barnes & Noble will be one of them remains to be seen.