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I have to admit that even though I never buy books there anymore-- just chai and treats from the cafe and toys, gift items and greeting cards when I need them-- B&N is my favorite store.  I go there once or twice a week to check out new titles, browse, research, etc. The store in our town is always very, very busy.  But I guess if the chain is not selling enough dead tree books, they're going to have to close stores.  Which will sort of break my heart.  I know, I know.  I'm part of their problem, not their solution.  I even thought of buying a Nook to help them out, but I just can't do it.  I'm a Kindle girl. If B&N does close, someone will have to figure out how to make a profit opening book browsing places/cafes that will attract people like  me.  Maybe public libraries could step up to the plate, give themselves face lifts, open cafes, and change the way they operate.
 

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I used to go to B&N every week, before they moved our store all the way across town to a dead mall. Now I rarely venture over there, just too far out. Not nearly as convenient. I love their stores. I still try to get out there some free weekends. Our school bought nooks for the kids to use from them.
We have to realize that if we want these stores to stay around, we have to go to them, and actually buy something, not just soak up the Internet. Whenever I'm in the store, there are no seats to be found, people are on their electronics doing school work.  Hard to use your nook there for the free hour of reading : (
 

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When I spent about three months in the US a few years ago I was staying with a friend who ran various coaching sessions for swimming during the day. If he was meeting a client at a gym with a B&N nearby, I'd go there and browse, grab a coffee and take it easy. I loved the places.

In the bargain section I even found the whole set of hardback and illustrated gift editions of The Lord of the Rings at 10% of the price they'd be in Australia!  :D

...and felt a little guilty as I was a manager at Borders in Australia at the time.

 

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I was in a B&N yesterday for the first time in at least a year...From KB posts about the stores, I'd expected it to be filled with racks of games and specialized chocolate, with a single rack of best seller hardbacks sitting next to the restroom under a flickering, buzzing fluorescent light. I was pleasantly surprised, the overwhelming majority of selling space was still devoted to books, with a decent selection. I spent about an hour there, wanted to use my neglected Nook Color to browse, but I'd erred and let the battery go dead. I couldn't find the travel map I wanted, nearly bought the hardback of the latest edition of a National Geographic state park guide that I've used for years, but chose not to. Even though it was marked down to nine bucks, I don't want more paper books to store, and I can find 75% of the information on the Internet now.

The old comfy chairs are gone, there was a single wooden chair, and a couple of benches in front of the magazine rack, but no more place to sit and page through books like the pre-Kindle days. Better experience than I expected, but I still don't expect to be back soon. Which is why they are closing stores of course.
 
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