We’ve started a new routine here on Sundays (if two weeks in a row count as a routine)…after church we treat ourselves to a nice lunch/brunch, and then escape the afternoon heat at our local cinema. I’ve never been much of a movie-goer…especially not in recent years when i can enjoy the films in the comfort of my own living room on the 47 inch screen television. Part of my anathema to movies came from my general inability to sit still for more than an hour at a time without needing to get up and do something else. But since I stopped working, I don’t feel quite the urgency to make productive use of my free time. A benefit, I suppose, to having a lot more free time to work with.
Anyway, we had a few minutes between lunch and the movie today, so we stopped into our local Barnes and Noble store. I hadn’t been there in a while, and was curious to see if anything had changed in the wake of Borders’ recent demise.
A few things definitely had.
The front left corner of the store, once dedicated to tables of newly released fiction and non-fiction titles, has now been given over to a line of free standing banner ads for the Nook, in all it’s incarnations. This is actually just an extension of the Nook display that greets you the minute you open the door and occupies the entire front center section of the store.
The front-middle of the store is still books – shelves of bestsellers, trade paperbacks, bargain books, and other new releases.
The middle third of the store has given way to games and toys for children of all ages – including adults. There are board games,
high-quality expensive educational toys for infants and toddlers, puzzles, and arts/crafts kits. This all flows quite nicely into the children’s section, which hasn’t apparently changed too much. (whew!)
The last quarter of the store still houses the technical books, religion and new age section, along with an abbreviated corner for CD’s, DVD’s, and Blue Ray discs.
There were quite a few folks milling around on this hot Sunday afternoon, although most of them seemed to be sipping frozen drinks and sucking up the free wi-fi. When all was said and done, I got the impression the store was working very hard to stay viable in the current electronic literary market, and wasn’t quite sure how to go about doing that.
Next week I’ve planned a field trip for myself and friend to a semi-local (it’s about 30 miles away in Ann Arbor) independent bookstore. I’ve got a couple of books on the radar to purchase, and I’d like to give Nicola’s some business, as well as see what they’ve got going on.
I’ll keep you posted.
What’s happening at the bookstores in your area? Do you have a favorite independent bookstore, and, if so, how are they faring in these turbulent times for booksellers?