And The New York Times wants to help! But when the NY Times says it wants to help, what the Ol’ Gray Lady really means is that the government should do something.
I love books, libraries and the right bookshop can trap me for hours on end if I’m not careful. But I don’t like Barnes and Noble. Never have. Growing up in NYC, I would spend literally hours and my last expendable dollars at Coliseum Books or Shakespeare & Co. or Forbidden Planet Books for my sci-fi fix. The only shopping I did at B&N was of the window variety. I confess I dutifully checked out their wares whenever the national franchise opened up a new mega store and I was always struck by how many more titles per subject matter the small independent book stores managed to cram into considerably less square footage. And once Barnes and Noble started giving up shelf space to sell t-shirts and mugs, cds, dvds, coffee and pastries, that contrast became starker.
As the writer of the above piece rightly reminds us, it was big box stores like B&N that killed off the independent shops. They did so without shedding a tear for the indies and so I shall remain dry of eye as this last franchise goes the way of Borders. I will not mourn B&N’s passing. I may in fact celebrate all that brick and mortar crumbling to dust. The fall of Barnes and Noble will, I believe, be the penultimate nail in the coffin of the traditional publishing industry.
Long may the corpses of the big 5 rot!
As, one by one, the giants fall, it is my hope that the small independent shops may find the room to flourish again. It may have already started: Shakespeare and Co. On The Rebound!
Books stacked wall to wall and floor to ceiling
And not a plush toy in sight!