Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Have You Hugged Your Local Barnes & Noble Today?

So, out of the blue Friday week (the 13th) I got an email announcing that one of the area Barnes & Noble has closed. This wasn't one of the ones I go to, being located up in Bellevue's Crossroads mall (that is, some twenty miles away from here), but it's still bad news to see the last major new books bookstore chain diminished by another store. I know some people disparage the 'big box' booksellers for their role in driving out (most of) the independents a decade or two back,* but for me, who grew up in a town without a bookstore, it's a comforting feeling to be able to drop in to a store with so many books I'd like to read right there on the shelf.

Working at home as I do, I sometimes feel the need to get out and about and work somewhere off-site. And when I do, it's more likely than not that I'll pack up the laptop and the headphones and head over to the nearest Barnes & Noble with a Starbucks inside where, if they're not too busy, I'll get a cup of tea (English Breakfast) and work for an hour or two, until the tea runs out or it's starting to look like they cd use the table.

So here's hoping it's just that one store's location that led to its closing and that it's not a sign presaging more to come. Books I can get from Amazon (and do. frequently.), but ambiance requires a bookstore.

--John R.

*some independents survived, such as Seattle's own excellent Elliott Bay Books, the university book store, and Third Place Books.

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