I’m addicted to Barnes & Noble

I’ve got a monkey on my back: Barnes & Noble.

I read a lot of books these days. A few of them I get from the library, but like a lot of librarians I know, I confess I like owning books more than borrowing them. Some of them get sent to me by publishers to review. But most of them I buy at Barnes & Noble. Once in awhile I’ll shop online, but even then — this afternoon I bought a book from Amazon while I was standing in Barnes & Noble, with my iPhone (the Amazon price was a lot lower).

It’s the whole experience. Going into the store, preferably when I’ve got plenty of time to spare. Checking out the bestsellers, the tables of paperback fiction, glancing — more out of nostalgia for my teenage genre of choice than anything else — at the science fiction section. Stopping to look at a display. I usually get a coffee and wander through the music department. Deciding what to buy, of course; I can’t remember the last time I left B&N without a couple of new books, to add to the pile next to my bed, even though lord knows my checking account would prefer I did a little more window shopping and a little less take-home.

I’m not alone, either. Everyone else in the store is doing the same thing, alone or with friends, walking around or camped out for hours with their laptops, stacks of books strewn around. And I know it’s all frightfully commercial. I know I’m absolutely buying in to what Tom Hanks’ character was talking about in You’ve Got Mail when he said:

We’ll seduce them with our square footage and our deep armchairs and our amazingly swift checkout lines and our discounts and our cappuccino bar. They hate us in the beginning, but we get them in the end.

Yeah, well. Sometimes a marketing strategy works because it’s true.

You know, my nieces and I did all the Harry Potter midnight release parties, and sometimes when I would tell people about them, they’d roll their eyes. But I’d say to them, people are lined up and camped out for a book. How great is that? And so by the same token, those people in Barnes & Noble with me, even the ones with their lattes and their laptops, they’re there for books. They’re reading. They’re a little bit addicted too.

How great is that?

4 thoughts on “I’m addicted to Barnes & Noble

  1. Goes the other way too–those of us who can’t afford to buy all the books we lust after end up using B&N as a library reading room. They let us, and love us, sitting up there on the (at my B&N) 4th floor. Stack of books on the chair next to me, getting comfy for the afternoon to skim and digest and make plans for the time when I can take some of them home. Reading is one of those things at the top of the amazing list.

  2. Oddly (LOL!), I’m completely with you on this post, Twinsy. I ADORE going to the bookstore, and I’ll spend hours, and lots of dollars, there if I can. We used to have a Borders right down the street from us, which I loved. Sadly, it closed last year, and I really, really miss it. I’m not as big a fan of our nearest Barnes and Noble. Here in Cincinnati, we have an enormous “small” bookstore called Joseph Beth, and that’s where I prefer to go if I’ve got the time and the money to spend. I love everything about bookstores!

  3. Part of my bookstore guilt is that I know it would be better at least to develop an addiction to a local store, as opposed to a chain. But I confess it’s the whole B&N experience I’m hooked on.

    Gail, are you talking about the store in Union Square by any chance? I loved it there.

  4. Pingback: I'm addicted to Barnes & Noble | Librarians do it Between the Covers | Drakz Free Online Service

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