Apparently, Barnes and Noble is closing a lot of their stores: 20 every year over ten years.
When I read this, I had mixed feelings. First, I was kind of sad. I mean, I like having the option of going to a Barnes and Noble and looking around. The way they display their books makes it easy for me to browse and though I hardly ever buy anything there, I love to just look and get ideas for what I’ll buy on my Kindle.
Then I realized that first, I don’t buy anything there so it’s kind of just a really extravagant source of recommendation, and second, I don’t actually go there to browse anymore either. So my second feeling was one of hope: I wonder if this means more opportunities for Indie bookstores and eBooks.
In my mind, Barnes and Noble exists as a magical place that will make me into a better reader and writer. But really, it’s just a place to kill time, get expensive and disappointing food/drinks, and make myself jealous of other writers.
I don’t mind having 95% of my book library stored electronically. Most books I only read once. But there is one reason I want the Barnes and Noble near me to stay open: It’s open until 10:00 pm on weeknights.
Every Wednesday I go to TeaSource to write. But they close at 8. And sometimes, 8 o’clock is exactly when I get inspired to write the next paragraph, or figure out how to overcome a plot hole. So I just skip across the street to Barnes and Noble and get two extra hours of writing in.
My takeaway from that article is that Barnes and Noble has some great features I take advantage of. But none of them are features that other places won’t offer. I don’t use them as a bookstore. I use them as a place to sit. I don’t use them as a source of books. I use them as a place to get free ideas about what I might like to read (which I will be using http://www.goodreads.com more frequently for). I guess I’m not surprised they are closing a lot of their stores. But I am a little sad. I just hope that this means Indie bookstores can grow more.