Fewer Nooks and more books, please

  • Article by: ALEXANDRA PETRI , Washington Post
  • Updated: February 2, 2013 - 1:25 PM

We lost Borders. We cannot afford to lose Barnes & Noble, too. It's the last hope of the brick-and-mortar bookstore.

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pumiceFeb. 2, 13 1:36 PM

I disagree with a couple of major points from the article: (1) "[Barnes and Noble is] all that stands between us and a world where the only place unused books are sold is at Urban Outfitters." There are still many independent booksellers. Most of them wonderful little refuges of literacy. (2) Browsing is pleasurable, true. In addition, the expertise of a real, live bookseller is priceless.

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TeddyWelshFeb. 2, 13 2:22 PM

Support your local library. Book stores are fine. But libraries are great. They have old and new books. Fiction and non fiction. And access to the internet for those who do not have it at home. Many also have ebooks that can be "borrowed" by readers. Plus the librarians are super with solving difficult reference questions.

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nathosFeb. 2, 13 2:35 PM

My advice to the author would be to ditch Barnes and Noble and throw his support behind an independent, local bookseller. There are several still in existence, and I'm sure they'd love your business. And they will never try to sell you a Nook.

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melbgopherFeb. 2, 13 3:06 PM

I agree with pumice. Put a coffee shop in all libraries and in or near real bookstores and we won't miss the big box sellers at all.

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DufferHFeb. 2, 13 3:16 PM

The writer is arguing for a failed business model. Just keeping more stores open won't begin to solve the problem. The big chains' goal was to drive the independent and family bookstores out of business. Well, they've almost done it, but what have they gained?

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freedomallFeb. 2, 13 3:50 PM

How old is this author? E-books are the way of the future. And if you cared so much about books, why don't you support your local library and/or local book seller?

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furguson11Feb. 2, 13 4:23 PM

The HarMar BN is a shell of it's former self, the front third of the store is a Nook display, the furniture hasn't been replaced in years and the employees are minimum wage liberal arts college graduates. I'll have to admit, I mostly go there once a month to sit in a comfy (but aging) chair to pursue overpriced magazines and drinking 50 cent coffee refills without buying anything, often while using the wifi. So if Nooks are keeping the operation afloat, yippee. I did buy a book recently in the bookstore downtairs from Nina's in St. Paul, because it caught my eye (The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared). I think I paid full price, though on Amazon it can be had for $8.50 or so. I've started getting $5 annual magazine subscriptions on my Kindle also. I think BN is a dinosaur, it's almost dead because print is almost dead.

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BallFourFeb. 2, 13 5:50 PM

The publishing industry is way overdue for something sensible, and after being mired in the same idiocy for 200 years, we finally have e-books. Great move for everyone.

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pitythefoolsFeb. 2, 13 5:59 PM

Remember when the big bookstore chains put most of the independents out of business, and everyone cried about the loss? Now the big chains are losing out to technology and more people cry for them. The irony is palpable.

And have you noticed that the STRIB printed paper is about 1/4 the number of pages it used to be, and most of the articles are on their website the day before anyway? The only reason I pay for the paper now days is for the comics. Once the industry figures out the royalty arrangements on going online with those there won't be a reason for a paper paper anymore. I won't be crying about it.

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notheocrat12Feb. 2, 13 6:23 PM

I think the hype is much overblown, as after I went to B/N the other day I found their selection overpriced and really not worth going anymore. Why? Because stores like this, in order to sell books, only sell a limited selection. My advice is to go to Half Price books, my fav is on Miracle Mile. Cheap prices and an awesome selection. But alas even that cant beat Amazon, when you know what book you want ahead of time.

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