NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Barnes & Noble ( BKS) announced Thursday that it's creating an e-reader application for Apple's ( AAPL) iPad device.

The company said in a post online that the free application "will give our customers access to more than one million eBooks, magazines and newspapers in the Barnes & Noble eBookstore." Users will have to download the app; it won't come already installed on the iPad.

This would compete directly with Apple's own iBookstore.

Barnes & Noble already has a similar application for the iPhone and iPod Touch. It also has its own e-reader, the Nook, which investors fear will lose market share to the iPad.

Apple revealed last week that the iPad will be available in stores on April 3. Its stock reached an all-time high of $225.48 on Wednesday.

--Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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