I finally figured out what it is that I love about Barnes & Noble. It is true that they’ve driven hundreds of small, independent book stores out of business. It’s also true that, in many ways, it isn’t even a real book store so much as a general purveyor of anything people might be willing to buy. They are pushing toys, music, games, writing utensils, calendars, and particularly expensive notebooks. They don’t even have real Starbuck’s coffee. What I love about Barnes & Noble is that they attract the nicest, most civilized customers to be found in any business around town.
You could probably say the same thing about almost any bookstore. Prairie Lights, in Iowa City, is a wonderful place. But Cedar Falls doesn’t have anything comparable, and we are almost 100 miles from Iowa City. We don’t even have a Borders, Walden’s, or B. Dalton. And if someone has a small, independent, bookstore operating in Cedar Falls, they need to do some advertising. For a college town, we are in a pitiful position. That leaves me with Barnes & Noble. And, even if they might be responsible for consigning all their competition to the scrapheap of once-upon-a-bookstores, all those people who used to be found in the various bookstores around town have now taken to getting their book-fix at B & N.. Continue reading WHY BARNES & NOBLE DOESN’T SUCK