After B&N: a book-lover’s best alternative

When Borders opened its first super-store in the Rochester, NY, area, I felt I was in a book-lover’s paradise.  I could walk into the store looking for a specific books, not necessarily a best-seller, and have a good chance of finding it.  Not only that, but if I wanted to, I could sit down and read the book until I made up my mind whether I wanted to buy it or not.

The locally-owned new-book stores went out of business, but I didn’t care.  I thought it was a price worth paying.

A woman reads at a Barnes and Noble store in VirginiaThen Barnes & Noble came to town, with an even bigger selection of books than Borders, which eventually went out of business.  I thought that was great.

Now Barnes & Noble seems to be in trouble.  The stores in the Rochester area have the atmosphere of a business in decline—a smaller selection (at least of the kind of books I’m interested in), more non-book items.  What management seems most interested in selling is B&N’s Nook reader.

Many people, myself included, would hate to see Barnes & Noble go out of the mass bookstore business.  Click on 10 Ways to Save Barnes & Noble for some of their ideas to keep the bookstore chain going.

But you know what?  There’s another place in town with an even larger selection of books than Barnes & Noble.  There are more places there than B&N to sit down and read all day, if that’s what you choose.  And if you read something and decide to buy it on-line, that won’t make any difference.

I refer to the Rochester Public Library, which was here before Barnes & Noble came and I hope will be here many years to come.  Public libraries, like many other public services, are under attack these days.  That’s why I make an annual contribution to the Friends of the Rochester Public Library.  It would be sad to lose Barnes & Noble, but catastrophic to let the public library system decline.

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