Wednesday, September 1, 2010

B&N at Lincoln Center

Having spent many years working with Barnes & Noble, several of my closest friends are people who were or are employed there and my years in NYC are inextricably connected to it and them. Even if I didn't love books and worry about their future, I would be concerned about the tumult going on in the industry and at B&N in particular. But I wasn't prepared for the acute pang of distress I felt several days ago when I heard the Lincoln Center store will close in January.
It is a store I have spent a lot of time in, and where I have met many authors, including Philip Pullman. I was there the night it opened on Oct. 20, 1995 (with Karen Patterson, and I think our friend Helen), and I remember I saw one of my worst enemies coming up the escalator and hoped she wouldn't ruin my night (she left quickly, too cheap to buy anything). I found a faced out quantity of some classic book on tractors published by Motorbooks, and complained indignantly that whatever car book I had at that time was woefully underrepresented. That was when I learned that tractors are very popular in New York! I never figured that one out - could they all have been gag gifts?
It makes me very sad. Am I the only person up late and worrying about books?

4 comments:

LaurieA-B said...

That is so cool that you had a worst enemy.

It is startling to me that Manhattan cannot buy enough to support their Barnes and Noble stores. I was sorry to hear about Astor Place and Chelsea closing--I remember going to meet Jeffrey Steingarten, probably my favorite food writer, at the Astor Place store--and this one was such a nice part of the Lincoln Center area. It's true the store at 82nd isn't very far away, and it's a nice one.

Deb said...

No, I guess you are not the only one up late, and as for worrying about books, I found out yesterday that the Lexington Library discarded "My Friend Cousin Emmie." Ever since, I've had a nagging bit of anxiety that comes to the fore whenever my mind is not otherwise occupied. It was an original with the great cover art too. I wish I had stolen it when I had the chance.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Haven't been in Lincoln Center since 1965, but I'm always sad when a bookstore closes..........Our Borders closed recently, due to B&N I think, and I was very sad........It was the first "big" book store here and I spent a lot of time there. But they caused a lot of little independent stores to fold, and the internet has changed everything.....Still, I love going into bookstores and browsing the real thing!

I'm sure you're not the only one.

CLM said...

Laurie, I had and have many enemies but that woman was up there as one of the worst human beings ever. I remember she fired one of my co-workers the morning he came back to work after burying his partner, and there were probably other terrible things I didn't know about.

Deb, I don't understand why libraries, especially in a system like the Minuteman, aren't trying to 'keep' the last copy of a book. I know some weeding decisions are based on circulation but still. I think you should go talk to my acquaintance Cynthia.

Re B&N, why is it that landlords would rather have an empty storefront than increase their rent moderately? Although I think I already read there is a tenant read to take over that B&N.