At Bookstore, Even Non-Buyers Regret Its End


On Monday afternoon, Jai Cha walked out of the Barnes & Noble at 66th Street and Broadway in Manhattan as he does nearly every week — without a book.

“I’m just killing time,” said Mr. Cha, a 30-year-old lawyer, his hands stuffed deep in his pockets. “I’ve been coming here to read Bill Simmons’s ‘Book of Basketball,’ about a chapter at a time.”

He might have to hurry. Barnes & Noble announced on Monday that at the end of January it would close the store, a four-story space across the street from Lincoln Center that has been a neighborhood landmark since it opened nearly 15 years ago.

Full story in the NYT


Line in article - “There are other reasons that people come to this bookstore,” Mr. Hawkins said. “You don’t have park benches on the street anymore. It’s hard to find a place where you can sit down and have a cup of coffee.”

No coffee shops in New York? Somehow I don't believe it.

One is that that store is great - very large selection. I've bought some great books there.

Two, Cha is an wrong. There are plenty of benches and places to sit around near that location.

Three, and this is obvious - if you're truly *never* going to buy a book maybe there's a better place to find books, hang out and read?

There are also lots of little parks in NY where you can stop for coffee and even have free wifi that I've not seen in other major cities.

It's not just that people don't want to buy books or want to buy them online, it's that the price difference is SO big, and that it can be so much more convienient to get the audio/e-book of your choice than the print volume.
If you didn't have real bookshops then there really is no easier location or wayto be able to look at new books and see what is coming out. Reccomendation lists are fine but you want to have a proper flick to make a judgement.

Oddly enough I was in that store a few months ago (on holiday, saw a signing by Jennifer Love Hewitt's new book) and it does fit perfectly into the area but it's nothing 'special' as it were. The description of the cafe being one of the best features make sense to me.

I do hope that it is replaced by someone of equal weight and not just another crappy store/restuarant like others nearby, it is a nice gateway to the Upper West Side.

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