Rooting for Barnes and Noble Booksellers in the Bronx

The quick turnaround in news about the Barnes & Noble Booksellers in the Bronx was an emotional roller-coaster for me -- first the sadness that the store might close by the end of the year, then the cautious joy hearing that a temporary two-year lease agreement had been reached.

I make no secret that I am a huge supporter of e-books, and my e-reader of choice is the Kindle, not the Nook.  My online book purchases are mostly through Amazon, not BN.com.  Yet, I still love the big brick-and-mortar store in Bay Plaza and would hate to see it go.  I frequent my local Barnes & Noble at least once a week, and very rarely do I leave without making a purchase.  I enjoy browsing through the aisles, looking through the book shelves and the magazine racks.  They have a nice children's section where I occasionally bring my young kids, and the cafe is wonderful, (try the stuffed pretzels the next time you're there.)

Some have no sympathy for big corporate chains closing their doors, since independent booksellers have been decimated by the combination of Barnes & Noble type superstores and online competitors.  Still, the loss of Barnes & Noble would leave a huge vacuum in my fine borough, which has no other general bookstore -- yes, you read that correctly, the only general bookstore in the Bronx is this glorious Barnes & Noble in Bay Plaza.

It's been my destination for writing seminars, celebrity book signings, and a Frozen event that my daughter totally enjoyed. It's also one of my fail-safe places to go buy original gifts for anyone on my list any time of year.  I would hate to see it go.

The Bronx needs more bookshops where people can gather, skim through new bestsellers, discover older literary gems, pick up hard to find publications, and share in fresh new ideas.  Yes, by all means, support your local library where some of this can be found for free, but you might have to wait weeks or months to get your hands on the latest hot releases, and you certainly won't find all the latest niche magazines.

We need commercial booksellers.  Barnes & Noble earned its success by doing it right.  I'm thankful it won't be leaving the Bronx...for a while at least.

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