Barnes & Noble, that once proud anchor to many a suburban mall,
is waning. It is not failing all at once, dropping like the savaged
corpse of Toys “R” Us, but it also clear that its cultural moment has
passed and only drastic measures can save it from joining Waldenbooks
and Borders in the great, paper-smelling ark of our book-buying memory.
I’m thinking about this because David Leonhardt at The New York Times calls for B&N to be saved. I doubt it can be.
there is the sheer weight of real estate and the inexorable slide away
from print. B&N is no longer a place to buy books. It is a toy store
with a bathroom and a cafe (and now a restaurant?),
a spot where you’re more likely to find Han Solo bobbleheads than a
Star Wars novel. . . . more