I think it is hard to know what B&N's plan is given how erratic they have been over the past five years between their various splashing bets (MS investment) and management shakeups.
My guess is that the existing management and shareholders have decided they cannot become a vertically integrated company that can compete with Amazon, Apple, et. al. for readers.
B&N's existing management knows one thing well, running a retail bookstore business. I think they are trying to split off and/or sell anything not directly related to that business. Doing so creates cash for existing shareholder and/or long term bets via the stock splits as with the text book spin-off.
That leaves a profitable, if low margin, retail business that can generate a profit and a dividend payment which has been suspended since 2011. It is a model that seems more reasonable now, versus three years ago, that ebooks growth has slowed.
The Nook unit, as ever, remains the albatross. It is a property that no one wants and one that continues to loose value. The only positive (for B&N) was their buyout, at discount, of Microsoft's and Pearson's stake in the Nook unit.