US bookstore giant Barnes & Noble said Friday it had sold out of its new electronic book reader, the "Nook," and the next shipments would not be available until after the holidays.
"Nook continues to be the fastest-selling product at Barnes & Noble, and pre-orders have continued to exceed our expectations," the company said in a statement.
"While we increased production based on the high consumer interest, we've sold out of our initial Nook allotment available for delivery before the holidays," it said.
"All customers ordering a Nook beginning today, November 20, should expect their devices to ship beginning the week of January 4, 2010," Barnes & Noble said.
Barnes & Noble unveiled the Nook last month to compete with the Kindle from online retail giant Amazon and the Sony Reader from the Japanese electronics company.
The Nook costs 259 dollars -- the same price as the basic Kindle -- and features a black-and-white electronic ink display for reading books and a color touchpad for navigation.
Electronic readers are expected to be a hot gift item this holiday season.
Forrester Research estimates that three million e-readers will be sold in the United States this year, up from a previous forecast of two million units, and for e-reader sales to double to six million units next year.