About a week ago, I heard some very disturbing news.
My Barnes & Noble is closing.
According to rumor, they can no longer make the lease payments and have to be shut down. Their location has never been that great. They are located across the street from a mall. This means they get all the mall traffic without actually being in it. Also, there is a Books-A-Million in the mall. Not to mention that the parking lot for this shopping center is very awkward.
Barnes & Noble and I have had a long committed relationship. When I was little, their children’s section was one of my favorite places. They had all my favorite books and plenty of places to sit and read.
After my parents’ divorce, my father would pick me up every Wednesday from school and we would hang out for a couple of hours. Sometimes we went to the movies or the park; but, more often than not, we went to Barnes & Noble. We would look at books for a while, then pick our favorites and get something at the café. In the café, we would catch up on each other’s lives, or browse through our books. We would discuss what we were reading, which would generally lead to more discussion on our beliefs or opinions. This was the time when we would get to know each other. When so many of our problems would float away and our common interest in books would bring us together.
Toward the end of high school, I began looking for a job. I really wanted to work in a book store and preferred Barnes & Noble. Luckily, one of my father’s patients worked at Barnes & Noble and gave me a recommendation. My obsessive organizational skills shined. I loved being surrounded by the books. I loved my managers; Shiny Shoes, Grumpy Bear, and “Angel”. I loved spending my break reading books. I loved the atmosphere. I loved the discount.
Since graduating college, I’ve been on a budget crunch and have primarily been using the library or used book stores. In a way I feel guilty for not buying more from my trusty BN.
When I talked to one of my former co-workers last week they informed me that May 30th will be their last day. Corporate will not be opening another Barnes & Noble in our city because they figure the Barnes & Noble about 45 minutes away (on a good day) is close enough to our city. Corporate also believes that our Barnes & Noble workers can simply commute to the other location and the Barnes & Noble customers will follow. However, our town also has two Books-A-Millions and several nice small bookstores. I don’t see many people commuting to the store across the bay.
My father, sister, and I will be having a “Farewell, Barnes & Noble” day next month and will forever miss our lovely Barnes & Noble.