Non-Book-Review Thursday
Slice of Life
   By – Sheri de Grom

With an adrenaline rush, I stepped into my local Barnes & Noble bookstore the Thursday after Thanksgiving. I’d double-checked every title and author on my list and was confident I’d leave the store with fourteen spectacular reads. My Christmas shopping was finished and the presents were wrapped—the fourteen books on the list were all for me!

Hubby had his own wish list, but he normally comes away from the bookstore with art and other professional journals, each costing more than any novel. He’s a library and Amazon man for his fiction reading pleasure.

Our local forecast was for ice and snow and then more ice. The weather man warned to lay in supplies. Our pantry was full; the dogs eyed us carefully and were planning on extra lap time. They’d seen us get out the heavy afghans and I’m convinced they know that equates to hugs, snugs, and not a human wiggle to disturb them. All was good at our house.

We’d already planned a quiet holiday season and I was eager to add newly-released books to my always increasing ‘to be read’ shelves.

My reading plan was to spree read until the New Year and then I’d embark on a newly-revised reading wish list searching for the most promising reads for my 2013 weekly book review blog.

But as I strolled through the bookstore, I was alarmed as I browsed the various pyramids, tables and shelves. Anger built within my heart. Having worked as a buyer and bookseller for Barnes & Noble for two years and being familiar with publishers paying for stock placement, things didn’t look good.

The promotions were almost one-hundred percent for books that had been published six months to a year earlier. They’d all reached bestseller status and some had remained strong throughout the year.

There were the usual huge Nook displays, Christmas cards, wrapping paper, 2013 calendars, etc. But where were the new releases on my list? When I speak of the sought-out new releases, these included novels that should have been in the store a minimum of one month. All the titles were selling well and I’d have thought some had promotion money behind them.

I double-checked the customer inventory computer only to discover not one of the books on my list were available on the sales floor.

In hopes not all was lost, I decided to wait around for the lead stockroom manager to go on break. I knew from previous conversations we’d had that his permanent employees were gone and the store had rehired younger, high-school age employees but hadn’t provided the appropriate training. The younger stockroom employees don’t understand the importance of getting books out of the back and onto the buying floor.

The average bookstore consumer today is far different than the customer of the early 2000s. Back then, the consumer wasn’t as hurried and stores always had more knowledgeable (well-read) staff working the floor. That’s rarely the case now. Even if a staff member is working the floor, they seldom know where anything is and have no idea of how to hand sell a book when they do find it.

But let’s get back to my list of fourteen novels. I finally went to the appropriate sections of the store where I was sure I’d find each book shelved, but it wasn’t there. I had to give the customer computer the benefit of the doubt. It had been wrong before. I searched around on the shelves, thinking perhaps someone had put it back in the wrong place—but no such luck.

Three hours later, and many conversations with other customers, my enthusiasm was running low. I was tired of seeing entire shelves donated to James Patterson (with multiple copies of the first book he’d written along with far too many of his latest), Danielle Steele, E.L. James, and many other books I had no interest in purchasing. I wanted the fourteen books on my list. The ones that promised to provide me food for thought and break-out writing. The fresh voices we’re always hearing agents say they want to find. Plus I had three debut authors on my list that warranted attention.

As a last-ditch effort, I went to the service desk to reassure myself that I read the computer correctly, and, sure enough, Barnes & Noble did not have a single book on my list in stock. Books I had prepared to purchase that day. Yes, the sales associate offered to order all fourteen books and ship them free of charge—but I declined.

I asked once again to see the store manager. I’d spoken to this same manager several times over the past seven years and always receive insight on what’s actually going on in the stores in our district.

I asked him why they weren’t stocking books that were already selling well. He told me they had to push the stock the publishers were putting the big dollars into and, this year, that happened to be their authors with the year-after-year proven track record.

I asked further about the new titles on my list, and said, “None of these well-received titles are on the shelves. Can you tell me why?”

I wasn’t prepared for his reply. “The titles on this list will probably remain special order titles only. This store along with several hundred others has been revamped. We’re expanding into more toys and educational materials.”

I’d seen that for myself on previous visits to the store: the shrinkage of actual book shelf space, the addition of row-upon-row of educational toys and materials, and the absence of the easy chairs many of us had become accustomed to in days-gone-by.

I’d always loved walking through the stores in the days I worked for Barnes & Noble and seeing regular customers in the big, comfy chairs grouped here and there. Some customers felt free enough to move a chair to another location in the store and others would group them into conversation circles. Often, when certain individuals arrived at the bookstore and someone was in “their chair” the individual in the chair would find a different place to sit. Alas, those days are over and I miss them. The retail dollar has to remain strong but I’m not convinced toys—even slick educational toys—will save a book store.

I’ve purchased the Barnes & Noble membership card each year since it was originally issued but I’m not convinced it’s a bargain in today’s consumer market. I originally saved well-over a hundred dollars each time I visited the chain but that’s no longer the case.

Yes, the Barnes & Noble membership affords me free shipping but isn’t that perk supposed to be for the one or two books that you want to round out your stack—not your entire, double-digit wish list. When I walk out of my local Barnes & Noble store empty-handed, I have to wonder if I should even renew my membership.

I’ve always purchased my books new and at a bookstore. But on this particular occasion, I came home and ordered my fourteen books using Amazon Prime. They cost me less than they would have at Barnes & Noble, shipping was free, and they were on my doorstep in two days.

That said, I’m not happy. I adore browsing through the shelves of brick-and-mortar bookstores. Unfortunately, I can’t help keep them afloat if they can’t fulfill at least some of my needs as an avid reader in today’s market. They don’t have to have all the books I want, but I do need to walk out with at least a third of my list. I’d be happy to order the remainder from Amazon, so long as I have a new selection to chose from when it comes time to read that night. 

I still get a thrill when I can actually pick up a book, decide to buy it and bring it home with me. There’s another thrill when I move it to the front of my ‘to be read’ pile. Perhaps that’s the inner child in me, but I do want it my way.   

About Sheri de Grom

Retired Fed/JAG, 5 yrs. on Capitol Hill. Former book buyer for B and N. Concerned citizen of military drawdown. Currently involved in mental healthcare reform, health care strategist and actively pursuing legislative change wherein dual retirees are exempt from enrolling in Medicare at their own discretion without losing tertiary healthcare benefits. Monitor and comment on Federal Register proposed legislation involving Mental Health, Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services, Medicare and rural libraries. Licensed OSHA Inspector to include Super Fund sites. Full time caregive to Vietnam era veteran. Conceptualized, investigated possible alternatives, authored, lobbied for, and successfully implemented Title X, Section 1095 (known as the Third Party Collection Program of Federal Insurance).
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  1. Sherri – I was drawn to your website by the promise of stories “from the legislative and literary trenches” and you have not disappointed me. Like yourself, I am a recovering attorney and a Barnes & Noble fan. I can’t begin to count all the hours I’ve whiled away in various corners of our local store – writing, sipping tea, browsing (and eventually buying) the books that whisper to me urgently.

    When we moved to another city last year, one of the first questions that popped into my mind was, “Where’s the Barnes & Noble?” Would it be close to our home? Would it feel like the store I’d practically lived in for years? Sadly, it’s not quite the same. A sign warns shoppers that the cafe seats are for cafe patrons only. While this isn’t an issue for me since I will happily buy an iced tea or coffee, the sign still sent a chill up my spine. Suddenly there are rules to follow; there is an unspoken assumption that customers are somehow taking advantage of Barnes & Noble’s generous offer of a place to sit while perusing a stack of books. There are no comfy armchairs.

    The book selection is dismal. Like yourself, I’m not a fan of “special ordering” books; that’s what Amazon is for. And while I do read many books on my Kindle, some books are meant to be held in your hands and their pages physically turned. One of my dear friends is a best-selling author, so I know a little about how books are marketed within stores, but your telling of it was incredibly interesting and insightful. You’ve got a great gift with words and I’ll be looking forward to reading more in the future. – Miss Snarky Pants

    • Dear Miss Snarky – How strange I feel addressing you as ‘Snarky’ – your words are kind and I feel a kindred spirit in your communications. I love your phrase of ‘books whisper to you gently.’ I’ve always been convinced some leap into my arms and snuggle deep while begging me to buy them. In days gone by, I couldn’t imagine leaving the store without ten or more novels and a few non-fiction. Those days are gone and I’m sad.

      I’m further alarmed by the sign appearing in your local Barnes and Nobel cafe area that the seating is for cafe patrons only. In my opinion, that’s a further detriment to selling books. I’ve always thought coffee and reviewing my stack of books went hand-in-hand, but others don’t often think of the cafe the same way. I’ve never thought of the B&N cafe as a destination. For me, B&N has always been about the books. As the books dwindle, the stores are far too large to cater only to a coffee and toy crowd. Perhaps that’s the reason 1/3 of the stores are closing in the next decade.

      Thank you for reading for me.

      • You’re so welcome. It’s a great pleasure to read your blog. I agree that the cafe should really just support the book business. Though I’m not too shy to plop down in the middle of an aisle in order to peruse books, I’d prefer to collect a stack, haul them to the cafe and then make my final choices while sipping tea or coffee. Rarely do I go to B&N without making a book purchase (or three, four or five), but I suppose there must be some who treat the store like their local library.

        Thanks for your kind words. Miss Snarky Pants is really an exaggerated persona. She drinks like a large mouth trout, whereas I drink more like a guppie, and is much more clever than I. Although I enjoy humor writing and satire, I like to think that there’s a lot more to me than snark.

        I noticed, by the way, that you were in the JAG Corps. One of my good friends in law school was in JAG, so I know how competitive it is. I’m not sure if your readers realize that you must have been booking your law classes left and right. Very impressive!

        • I used to love it that we had ‘special customers’ using our store as a library. We’d allow them their special bookmarks and they were our secret ambassadors. It was amazing how many books they could hand sell simply by someone asking them what they were reading. And, yes – – as with beauty – – I knew there was more than snark. I enjoy many of your blogs and look forward to reading more.

  2. Len – Thank you and I’m so honored. I’d love to have a cup of coffee or tea with you. I love a leisurely cup and spending time catching up with friends on a lazy afternoon or after dinner is one of my all time favorite things to do.

  3. Jane Sadek says:

    Barnes and Noble is just a 7-11 for literature. The indies are the only place to go for a browsing experience, but they are getting harder and harder to find. I’ll admit I’m to blame. I love my Kindle and it’s several versions old. Who knows what I’d do with a Kindle Fire. I’ve just recently given into the temptation to browse Good Reads. It’s my new obsession and my Kindle is loving it!

    • Hi Jane and welcome – As my career moved me about, one of the first things we always searched out was a good independent bookstore with a coffee bar attached. We haven’t found one in many years – longer than I care to count. I’ve also always loved the big 3 story corporation stores, the ones I could get lost in for hours on end. I have a Kindle but it’s not for my fiction reading pleasure. If I’m reading for pleasure I want to hold the book, to feel and smell the paper and see the written word. I want the full experience. It’s wonderful that we all have our own wants and desires. Change is inevitable.

      • Jane Sadek says:

        Fiction is one of the things that I love to get on an e-book. I swallow them down in three or four courses and the e-reader never lets me lose my place. When I’m reading non-fiction, like travel, spiritual etc. – then I want to have a real book, so I can highlight, attach stickies and write in the book. Travel books I especially like to be analog. They don’t run out of juice or bars.

        • Jane – It’s always interesting to me how each of us utilize our resources, to include time and method, to read. The books I review automatically come with a highlighter, pen and a multitude of sticky notes, etc. The tough part is that I never know if I’m going to review a book until after I’ve read it. I’ll not review a book I can’t unconditionally recommend. Therefore, I have a lot of books that get passed on to a small rural library I support and others go to friends. Our shelves are full and I keep a few favorites. I read most non-fiction in bound form and yes, I mark them up also. I did stop and look at my Kindle last night and yep, I use it daily. It’s the easiest way for me to insure I complete my reading in the 356 Daily Bile Readings. I also keep several different devotionals loaded, and a multitude of research materials. I’ll often buy two copies of research materials – I can have the bound copy at home and the electronic version on the road.
          I do have about 45 fiction novels on my Kindle just in case I get stuck at a doctor’s office or some such place.

  4. Denise Hisey says:

    I love a Real bookstore, too. There’s something so magical about being surrounded by books. Travel, fiction, non-fiction, humor, children’s..oh the list is unending and I could spend hours and hours without getting bored.
    One of my favorite haunts is Powell’s books in Portland, Ore. The store takes up an entire block, it’s two full stories plus a full basement of BOOKS! used and new, with booklovers everywhere. No toys, just books. If you get to Oregon, to to Powell’s! Your faith in bookstores will be renewed!

    • Denise – We lived in Oregon for almost 2 years while I was on assignment with the government. We never lived in Portland but found many excuses to spend long weekends there. Powell’s Bookstore was a place Tom and I could get lost in for hours on end. When we lived in DC we had similar experiences with 4 and 5 story bookstores that took up entire city blocks. One of the places I feel the most at home is in a bookstore. It warms my heart and fills my soul knowing the world is at my fingertips. Tom’s favorite expression is that we could afford to take our planned 6 month trip to Europe if we didn’t spend so much time and money in bookstores:)

  5. thoughtsfromanamericanwoman says:

    I sympathize with you. We lost our Borders a few years ago and got in a BAM (Books A Million) and I was very disappointed. Like you I was a bookbuyer at one time at local bookstore and we had complete control on what to buy and display unless it was in our sale flyer. Sadly that bookstore has gone the way of others. We do have one local bookstore in our town and it is a old fashioned bookstore, the only problem there is no parking so not easily accessible. It has been owned by the same family for I think going on 50 yrs…how long they will be able to stay open is anyones guess.

    • Hi Patty – The only time I shop Books A Million is through the Military Exchange on-line-AFES catalog. Actually, I give Tom my list and he prices the books out for me. I rarely go that route. I don’t care for the store itself. We also have a local Hastings but it’s not my favorite either. They shelve their used books in with the new and for whatever reason–I’m a snob about them doing that. There store is also more video games and music plus movies. However, I will say they have the best magazine selection anywhere and Tom frequents them often because they get in the high-end art journals. We no longer have an independent store in our town. I frequented it as long as it was in business. It meant I had to order a lot through her, but it was worth it just to keep an independent in business.

      • thoughtsfromanamericanwoman says:

        I feel the same way about the parking issue. It is a great store and you just smell the books when you go in…isn’t that a wonderful smell!! I hope they stay in business for years to come. Everyone in this area knows Ottos bookstore and I think it is ironic that Borders went out of business before they did. Goes to show you that small business is still alive and well.

  6. Sheryl says:

    How frustrating–so many bookstores have gone downhill in recent years. I realize that many are struggling financially, but the changes they are making to cope results in me buying fewer books.

    • Sheryl – How right you are about the changes not being the right changes for any of us. It makes me wonder what the decision makers are thinking. I believe part of the problem is that up until the mid 2000s, if you wanted books, you either had to go to the library or you had to buy them. I don’t remember seeing books at the supermarket when my mother bought groceries. Maybe that’s the reason I always asked her to drop me at the library. Today’s bookstores can no longer assume they will have the customers they once had. We no longer have to get our books from them. At the same time, I would continue to buy my books there if they had what I wanted to purchase.

  7. Sheri, I’m seeing this reaction from so many, many book aficionados who can’t find their (not-legacy published) author on any shelf anywhere. In Canada, only two of my three novels even appear as available despite numerous queries to Chapters/Indigo… my latest title (Issued Nov 2, 2011) lists two copies available under “Rare”! The legacy publishers have put a stranglehold on shelf space in brick and mortar stores… you’d think they’re paying the rent! But, there is a wake-up call coming. It won’t be this year but it will come in the next 3-4 years… mark my words. The groundswell of strong mid-list authors will start to win the day with strong stories and reasonably priced POD and ebook pricing. If the legacy stores don’t wake up, they will be closing their doors – toys and other product notwithstanding. If I want toys for my grandson, I go to Toys ‘R Us… and I don’t expect to find my books there!

    • Mary – I so don’t want bookstores to go away. Some of the most contented hours of my life have been spent in bookstores roaming their aisles and then hour upon hour in the coffee bar. I can easily trade the coffee bar for a coffee house, but I still have to give up a little of the atmosphere unless I’m careful in the selection of the coffee house. I’ll readily admit, I don’t like buying a book unless I can sample the wares and that’s more than reading the first, the middle and the last chapter. I want to feel the paper, look at the print, read the acknowledgments, etc. Call me strange – – – but I simply adore books. It saddens me greatly to see this simple way of life pass. Maybe this is how my uncles felt when they could no longer get comic books at the five and dime.

  8. I had a disheartening experience at my local B and N this week. I used to go at least twice a week, but since they too have turned into a toy and tech store and to find books you have to wade through stuff to get to the actual book shelves, I’ve cut down on my trips. But I wanted a book that the library hadn’t received yet, so I stopped in. The usual person wasn’t at the door who stops customers to push Nooks. Really I was getting tired of looking up saying “IPad” and walking on. I foolishly thought of this as a good sign.
    Instead I got a big screen monitor blaring a game or cartoon or some NooK enhancement. Blaring, So loud you could hear it at the back of the store (It’s a mega store) I was so angry I walked out. I was too angry to tell the manager that some people actually come to a bookstore to buy books. But let’s face it, they ‘re trying to phase books out, too cumbersome and not enough profit. And think of all the straightening that has to be done. Almost as annoying as having to turn a page.

    • Shelley – Do I ever hear what you are saying. Had I even thought about buying a Nook – I wouldn’t have because they were pushed at me every time I walked in the store. I thought maybe it was just me that was getting angrier and angrier and once again I see that I’m not just some woman that’s hit that certain age of ’65’ and doesn’t want to accept change. I’m pleased people are commenting–I thought maybe I had stepped off a cliff and simply expected too much of bookstores today. Thanks to a wonderful friend (my writing mentor) I have a Kindle and I utilize it the most for my 365 Daily Bible Reading. It’s a perfect devise for doing so and Kindle is also perfect for carrying in my perse when I have to hang out at doctor’s offices, etc. However, the downside of having an electronic reading devise, when I’m out and about, I’ve noted there’s never a discussion of, “hey, what are you reading,” of “is that a good book?” When I actually have a book in hand and almost always a yellow highlighter plus a pen for writing notes in the margins (shame on me) if I’m reading the book for a review – a lot of people ask me what I’m reading and do I recommend the novel and on and on. It’s also how I hear about other novels I might want to review. Novels I might never have heard of if someone I met along life’s highway hadn’t been reading a book. Thanks for stopping by. I may do another blog about some of my other discoveries – I want bookstores and I want a variety of current titles to remain.

  9. Sheri, you take me back to the days when I went to Sam Goodies and strolled the dozens of rows of actual “records” … those strange black circular things in fabulous covers … some of them collectible art now. The way of progresss leaves us with less hands on, touchy-feelie moments and whle the world converts to cyber space reality … I ask myself … Oh, brave new world what have we done?

    The same issues face those of us who wish to publish with a traditional house … while even as short as three years ago, we had at least a fighting chance … today the big houses are going indie and the big fish are gobbling up the little fish at an alarming rate.

    To hold books in our hands, run our fingers over the spine and get a thrill one cannot duplicate on kindle is a pleasure many of us will remember fondly … like holding up the record albums and anticipating ripping off the plastic and placing vinyl on the turntable. It’s not just those of us who are of vintage … many in our kids generation are feeling the changes. Yes, they adjust faster and the grandkids look at all of us like we have one giant eye in the center of our forehead … but the world is changing and moving out into another time and leaving many of the old traditions behind ;( So sorry … so sad ;(

    • Florence – As always, so beautifully conveyed, the emotions I feel in my heart and the frustration swirling in my mind are all in your comments. I too miss the record stores and now even the CD stores that have gone out of business. Out of curiosity, I took a brave new step and visited the public library yesterday. I have absolutely nothing against libraries and Tom and I support them on a regular basis. They had four of the books I had on my ‘wish list’ when I visited B&N back in Nov. I was so pleased to see the books there. And then I think of economics for writers. I know library sales are important to writers – but darn it anyway – I still want to buy a book when I want to buy a book. I rarely (as in never) buy just one. I love to come home and spend time with the books and simply look and feel them and look forward to a pleasurable read. I also want to take my young neighbors into the bookstore and invite them to explore and discover great reads. I adore seeing their young minds come alive when a whole new world come alive. How can we give that up? I love these kids and our monthly trip to the bookstore has become a standard adventure for years now. Some have gone on to graduate college and still speak of their love of reading as originating in our home. What a reward they hand out when they speak of such experiences.

  10. We lost our Borders about five years after it opened. When they closed the doors. I wanted to cry. So, all we have left is a Books Inc and they’re so small that I don’t go there since their selection isn’t vast enough for my tastes. I am appalled at what happened to you and can hardly believe the rationale of the store manager backing up the reason for the lack of books you were looking for. Wow! You know, not to “dis” any author because I read their books, but there are SO many good authors and well-selling authors out there and their books should be on the shelves for us to buy. We all know about James Patterson and Danielle Steel and yada yada, but come on! They are NOT the only ones we should be reading.

    • Patti – You are so right, we know about the James Patterson’s of the world and where to find his books and the co-written books. There’s no shortage of places to purchase them. On the other hand, let’s see the new authors out on the table displays where we can find them. I want to pick up the books and hold them in my hands, read a few pages and all that. I go to a bookstore with a list to keep myself somewhat disciplined but the bottom line for me is that if they have of had the 14 books I wanted, I would have probably purchased at least 10 more. I’m addicted when it comes to buying books. What can I say. I know several other book buyers like myself. If these bookstores can’t make it selling everything else but books — I feel I’ve championed the cause for many years. I don’t want bookstores to close — but I also insist they carry books other than what I can find on any supermarket aisle.

  11. Mae Clair says:

    Sheri, I can so relate to your frustration. I don’t live in an area with a convenient B&N but for many, many years we had a wonderful Borders Book store. It was exactly as you described your B&N. I was a regular there and, as my mother got older and became wheelchair bound, it was a place I could take her every Saturday. She loved books too. We’d browse the aisles then take our finds to the café and chat over cups of coffee. It was our special time and our special place.

    The store was wonderful – everything was easy to find, the staff was extremely knowledgably, friendly and helpful. Some knew me by name, almost all knew us by sight.

    When Borders closed, we were lost. About a year later BAM took over the old store and we were both excited. Nothing against BAM – I’m happy to have a bookstore again, but so much of it is taken up with toys, trinkets, gadgets and marketing items related to movies that have been made into books (think TWILIGHT and THE HUNGER GAMES). It’s often hard to find new releases and the old Borders staff has moved on. The chairs are gone, the genres have been shuffled (it took me quite a while to realize mysteries had been lumped in with fiction) and more and more unrelated book merchandise has sprung up.

    Since my mother passed away I rarely go there any longer. I buy all my content from Amazon. I did buy a BAM membership but I plan to let it expire. Part of the problem with bookstores becoming a thing of the past is that they no longer resemble bookstores. So sad. I still love a good book I can hold in my hands now and then.

    Wonderful post!

    • Mae – Thank you for such a wonderful comment. It made me stop and think about all the customers I became acquainted with in the B&N stores Getting to know the customers and their families allowed me to buy specific areas of interest for them and that was a real perk of the job. I loved getting to know the people and I’d have the luxury of getting to stop and chat with them about special authors they were looking for and about their own special interest. I’d often talk with a mother and daughter of perhaps an elderly parent at the bookstore with a son. I knew it was part of my responsibility to make their time together as pleasant as possible. Often my father would visit from Kansas and he loved to go to work with me everyday and he would hang out in the bookstore all day long. After being a rancher all his life, he had no problem having an easy chair by the fireplace and before the morning had half begun, he had a regular stream of visitors. I’d stop by occasionally to ensure he was okay, but silly me, dad could talk with anyone about anything and he loved to read. Although he lived in Kansas, he always made plans to meet up with his pals from the bookstore whenever he was planning an extended stay at our house. It always made his visits extra special.

      • Mae Clair says:

        What wonderful memories! It sounds like your father really enjoyed his time there. And you are so right about that personal connection making all the difference. As it turns out, something has come up and I plan to head to BAM next week to do some browsing. I haven’t been there in several months so I’ll curious to see how much else has changed.

  12. Betty Bolte says:

    Sheri, I feel your pain! I stopped shopping in our B&N for specific books for that very reason: they didn’t have newer books I wanted to read. But I do still enjoy browsing their shelves looking for new-to-me authors. I understand that B&N is scaling back on stores across the country, but I really hope our local one isn’t one of the ones on the to-be-closed list.

    • Betty – it is indeed a painful experience. I’d always enjoyed shopping the independents and when they went ‘to days gone by’ I was forced over to the larger stores. One of the things I took so personally was out of the 14 books on my list, 6 of the titles were from our very own WF group. If B&N are leaving those books out there to sink or swim – what’s that to say about all other authors. Like you, I want my local B&N to stay but I don’t think the coffee shop and up-scale toys is enough to keep the doors open. Our writers are some of the best in the genre. I pray they will find themselves back to the shelves and rapidly. Hubby proclaims the only good time still remaining are some of the artistic journals and they don’t have as many available as in days gone by.

  13. janieemaus says:

    My local Barnes & Noble just closed and I’m heartbroken over it.

    • Jainee – Ouch – The closing of a book store is like experiencing the death of a best friend (in my opinion). The bookstore has always been a place for me to turn when I’ve been feeling happy, down, lost, looking for inspiration, or just need that feeling of home once again. Long before my connection of working ‘on the inside’ and my husband was in the hospital for months on end, I’d often stop by a bookstore on the way home after visiting hours were over and it would be a place I felt safe with my self before going on to an empty house. Bookstores have always been a place of refuge for me. I’m so sorry your local B&B went away. I remember the days when our closest bookstore was over 8 hours away and there were times when I didn’t know what to do with myself. It was as if I’d lost my footing and I had no idea of where to go or what to do. Thanks so much for stopping in to comment.

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