A CROWDED NOOK: Pearson has spent $89.5 million for a 5 percent stake in NOOK Media LLC, the subsidiary of book retailer Barnes & Noble that's responsible for the NOOK readers and B&N's digital content and services. (Microsoft purchased a 17.6 percent stake back in May.) With this new deal, B&N currently holds 78.2% of NOOK Media, although Pearson has the option to purchase an additional 5 percent in the future. B&N currently operates 674 bookstores in colleges across the U.S., which will likely help with Pearson's higher-ed digital content distribution. But all three parties have their work cut out for them, as the NOOK apparently isn't doing too hot this holiday season.