Barnes and Noble’s Dirty Trick On Book Lovers

Barnes and Noble recently announced they will be eliminating one third of their stores within the next ten years. Considering that Barnes and Noble is largely responsible for driving all other national competitors out of business, this seems like a peculiar failure of capitalism. There’s still Amazon if you want to buy whatever books they decide to stock. And it’s likely an independent bookstore of two will open in communities where demand is high enough. But it’s a sad circumstance to wake up in a nation without bookstores. 

The death of the book has been predicted for a decade now. I see people reading “books” on their electronic devices, but I don’t think I’d ever be able to do that. The very smell of a book being opened excites my brain. It’s been said elsewhere a thousand times a thousand ways. Books are on the ropes, but I doubt anyone will ever deliver a knockout punch to the printed word. It’s just to damn vital and sexy. Try this: take four or five books you have face down or spine turned towards you and place that book face out in a prominent place in your daily activity. I guarantee you that book will begin to emanate an aura of well-being and wisdom. 

I can’t say I haven’t enjoyed Barnes and Noble as a retailer. When they added Starbucks in their stores it was just a fun place to go. We have one here in Rockford and we go on occasion. What I don’t do there is buy books. If I want books I buy them on Ebay, Abe Books, or Amazon. So, i don’t really believe closing Barnes and Noble stores will diminish the amount of books people or read at all, it’s largely just a symbolic manifestation of the trend away from books.

Books will endure. 


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