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 At Bookstore, Even Non-Buyers Regret Its End

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Join date : 2010-09-01

PostSubject: At Bookstore, Even Non-Buyers Regret Its End   Wed Sep 01, 2010 7:06 am

On Monday afternoon, Jai Cha walked out of the Barnes & Noble at ff14 item 66th Street and Broadway in Manhattan as he does nearly every week — without a book.
Ruth Fremson/The New ffxiv itemYork Times
The 66th Street Barnes & Noble store, by Lincoln Center, has hosted readings and events focused buy ff14 item on the performing arts.
Ruth Fremson/The New York Times
The Barnes & Noble on 66th Street in Manhattan is cheap ffxiv item closing next year.
“I’m just killing time,” said Mr. Cha, a 30-year-old lawyer, his hands stuffed deep in his pockets. “I’ve been coming here to read Bill buy ff14 item Simmons’s ‘Book of Basketball,’ about a chapter at a time.”
He might have to hurry. Barnes & Noble announced on Monday that at ff14 item the end of January it buy ff14 item would close the store, a four-story space across the street from Lincoln Center that has been a neighborhood landmark since it opened nearly 15 years ago.
“We recognize that this store has been an important part of ff14 item the fabric of the Upper West Side community since we opened our doors on Oct. 20, 1995,” Mary Ellen Keating, a company buy ffxiv item spokeswoman, said in a statement. “However, the current lease is at its end of term, and the increased rent that would be required to stay in the location makes it economically impossible for us to extend ff14 item the lease.”
It has been a bumpy year for Barnes & Noble, the country’s largest book chain, with 720 stores. Sales and store traffic have suffered as the book business has shifted online; Amazon ff14 gil has held its early lead in the e-reader war; and early this month, Barnes & Noble put itself up for sale and is now in the midst of a battle for cheap ff14 item control of the company with Ronald W. Burkle, the billionaire investor.
People ffxiv gil browsing at the Lincoln Center store on Monday lamented the loss of one of the city’s largest and most prominent bookstores, a sprawling space with a cafe on the fourth floor and an enormous music selection. For devoted theatergoers, it ffxiv gold was a reliable site for readings and events that focused on the performing arts. (Still on the fall schedule are appearances by Patti LuPone and ffxiv gold Elaine Paige.)
But many of those same people conceded that they have not bought as many books there as they did in the past. Some said they were more likely to buy ff14 gil browse the shelves, then head home and make purchases online. Others said they prized the store most for its sunny cafe or its cheap ff14 item magazines and other nonbook items.
“Oh, I really am sad,” said Lillian Kelly, a 70-year-old retiree, upon hearing the news that the store would close. “I love buying my greeting ffxiv gil cards here.”
Ms. Kelly said she visited the store at least twice a week, usually heading upstairs to read magazines and to ffxiv gil pick up a sandwich and cup of Starbucks coffee.
“They’re getting business out of me, I suppose,” she said. “Even though I’m sitting there reading ff14 gold magazines for free.”
Roger Hawkins, a former television news producer who was busy e-mailing on his laptop in the cafe, said he had been a Barnes & Noble member, giving him buy ffxiv account additional discounts on purchases, but let his membership lapse after he started buying audiobooks online instead. “There are other reasons that people cheap ffxiv gil come to this bookstore,” Mr. Hawkins said. “You don’t have park benches on the street anymore. It’s hard to find a place where you can sit down and have a ff14 gil cup of coffee.”
At the store’s entrance on Broadway, a steady stream of customers pushed through the revolving doors. A teenager in a turquoise T-shirt walked out, scarfing down a buy ffxiv gold scone, but with no books in his hand. A couple from Tennessee paused outside the store, but decided to wander down the block to the Lincoln Square buy ffxiv gold movie theater instead.
Melissa Rosati, an adjunct professor of publishing at Pace University, said she bought nearly buy ffxiv gold everything online but came to the store on Monday to spend a $25 gift card on “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell.
“It’s not like I’m going to miss it that much,” she said. “ff14 gold There’s another Barnes & Noble on 82nd and Broadway” (the one known for helping put the beloved independent bookstore across the street from it, ff14 gold Shakespeare & Company, out of business 14 years ago).
Ms. Keating, the Barnes & Noble spokeswoman, said a search was under way for a new location on the Upper West Side, but she declined ffxiv gold to provide details.
Two other Barnes & Noble stores in Manhattan, one on Astor Place and one in Chelsea, have closed in the last three years. But Barnes & Noble still has the huge store at ff14 power leveling 82nd Street, and in July 2009, it opened a 50,000-square-foot superstore at 86th Street and buy ff14 power leveling Lexington Avenue.
One result of the book chain’s uncertain year may be that much of the old animosity toward Barnes & Noble, once seen by some residents as a ffxiv power level corporate bully that helped squash small, independent bookstores, has lately been replaced with affection.
Monica Blum, ffxiv power leveling the president of the Lincoln Square Business Improvement District, said she detected a change in the way people viewed big bookstores.
“It is a community gathering space,” Ms. ffxiv power leveling Blum said. “I think the larger bookstores have worked hard to become those kinds of spaces.”
Dora buy ff14 power leveling Schulman, a shoe saleswoman who has lived in the neighborhood since the 1960s, left clutching a CD. “It’s a pity,” she said. “All the cheap ffxiv gold stores on my route are closing — first Tower cheap ffxiv power leveling Records, then Blockbuster, now this.”
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