A few weeks ago, I wrote about Barnes & Noble’s and the changing state of bookstores. The major bookseller is clearing its shelves of books to make room for newspapers, greeting cards, even CDs and DVDs. After receiving great feedback from my loyal readers, I’ve quickly learned that I’m not the only one who is interested in bookstores and the direction they are heading. I decided to focus more on how bookstores across the nation are changing…and stumbled across an interesting tidbit.
The headlines are out: Barnes & Noble has announced that it will start selling beer and wine in its stores in an attempt to lure customers back.
Yes, you read it right. In addition to an expanded food menu at Barnes & Noble’s in-store café, the bookseller will start to sell beer and wine in four locations beginning in October—in Eastchester, NY, Edina, MN, Folsom, CA, and Loudon, VA. This decision came after Barnes & Noble revealed that it’s facing hemorrhaging losses because of Amazon’s monopoly of the market, and this new move is in an attempt to avoid following Borders into bankruptcy.
I’m not quite sure what to think, though. I’m already leery about encouraging customers to read books in the café before purchasing them, and adding beer and wine to the menu seems to take the next step in that direction. What happened to the bookstores that were only focused on selling books? Barnes & Noble’s recent decision—although I understand their desire to do something in the face of bankruptcy—seems like a move of desperation.
The society we live in doesn’t leave many options for Barnes & Noble. It seems that the only things left to draw people are food, alcohol and giveaways. And quite frankly, booksellers are not far behind—they already utilize food and giveaway events… so now what’s left is alcohol.
But what about reading? Gone are the days that people entered a bookstore only in search of a book…not a movie, a CD, or a treat.
Perhaps I’m a traditionalist who believes that bookstores should sell only books—not treats, CDs, movies, toys, records, calendars, or beer and wine. But I guess I’m wrong, because Barnes & Noble’s stock rose and Amazon’s stock fell in the days following their announcement. Perhaps there’s hope yet for Barnes & Noble’s survival against Amazon—although at a cost to the company’s founding principles.
Personally, I find it to be a sad reflection that people have become so disinterested in reading and more so that bookstores are resorting to these drastic measures just to keep their doors open.
What do you think of Barnes & Noble’s new wine and beer policy? Would you now shop for more books or would you go there specifically for the wine and beer?
Booze and books, maybe… but drinking while shopping?
I know it’s HOT out there—a scorcher. The weather forecast calls for nothing but HOT, HOT, HOT!
Whether you like it or not, the hot summer is here.
But what if, despite the outside temperatures, your summer is NOT hot enough?
I bet a good romance will make your summer hotter. Despite a wide variety of genres to choose from, romance is the top seller of all genres. Why? Perhaps it’s because romance novels are getting more raw and gritty these days, making it easier for the reader to relate to. And for those classic romance novels with a prince charming… who doesn’t like a fairytale romance?
Regardless to what type of romance you read, hundreds of romance novels are published every day. Just like with any other genre some of these romance reads are page-turners, while others are…well, not so hot.
I’d like to think of my own romance novel, Pinnacle Lust, as one of the HOTTER, page-turners of its genre. I know you might think I’m biased, but can you blame me? Besides, thankfully, I’m not alone--Pinnacle Lust has garnered 5 star ratings on its Amazon page with reviews saying I created “a love story that is erotically related” and with “characters [that] were well developed.” I took this feedback and entered Pinnacle Lust into book festivals…and I won—honorable mentions at multiple book festivals and was the winner in the romance category at the 2015 Beach Book Fest. Wow, I’m flattered! I must be doing something right.
There are a lot of hot romances out there to choose from. If you haven’t already read Pinnacle Lust, don’t wait. Go ahead and sink into Sharon’s passionate love affair with Dr. Sloan. Let their steamy fling make your nights sizzle and their bleeding hearts keep the pages turning. This summer’s hot weather will only intensify the heat you’ll feel between Sharon and Sloan. Now that is something steamy you can appreciate this summer!
Keep your summer sizzling with Pinnacle Lust.
Last week, I wrote a blog on The Changing State of Bookstores—and how today’s bookstores are more likely to have fewer books and more magazines, calendars, stationery, and other products, and act like libraries instead of traditional bookselling venues.
But during my research, I came across an interesting topic: bookstore etiquette. We all know the people: bookstore patrons who pluck a book off the shelf, sit down with a coffee and treat in the café, and read the book for twenty minutes…before putting the book back. Most bookstores seem okay with this type of behavior—after all, you don’t see employees shooing customers away or demanding customers buy the books prior to sitting down with them...But I’m not so sure about this bookstore etiquette.
Case in point: I love going to the bookstore and buying new books for…well, their newness. There’s something special about the smell of fresh ink, the unbent corners, the un-creased spine, the look and feel of a brand-new book. But when bookstore patrons take the new book and thumb through it while sipping on a coffee or eating a biscotti—and then put the book back—it takes the newness out of the book. Instead of unbent corners and a perfect spine, the books might be coffee stained or greasy from biscotti fingers.
Now, let me clarify: There’s nothing wrong with reading the first chapter in a book to see if you’d like to buy it. I do the same thing myself…outside of the bookstore café. But taking the book into a café and reading it alongside food or drink is another matter.
What do you think about this bookstore etiquette? Is it acceptable to read a book in a café without buying it?
Because if yes, I’m wondering how you would feel about a book that someone took into the restroom with them—like the Seinfeld episode years ago.
Handle books with care!
If you walk into your local bookstore, chances are the experience is much different than what you would have seen a decade ago. While bookstores traditionally have been a place to buy books and only books, in recent years, the inventory—and therefore the reason many people go to bookstores—has changed. Nowadays, bookstores offer newspapers, magazines, calendars, greeting cards, games, CDs, gift cards, craft kits, treats and coffee in addition to—or even outnumbering—the books for sale.
Consequently not only do people have different reasons to visit a bookstore but also the clientele has changed—from strictly readers and shoppers of books to a variety of consumers including business people who schedule their meetings in the coffee shops found within the stores.
Then, there are the bookstore patrons who pull a book off a shelf, have a seat with their coffee, and read the book for twenty minutes, possibly even on their lunch break, before putting it back on the shelf—but that’s a topic for another blog, at another time.
Many customers may like this broader definition of a bookstore, but others long for the good old-fashioned bookstore that sells only books and has a large inventory.
Bookstores have become a tragic story in the last five years and are still a hot topic feeding blogs, magazines and even the news. And why? Research shows that more and more bookstores are closing—evident in the fact that Borders, a well-known international book retailer that rivaled Barnes & Noble, closed its doors in 2011. It’s impossible to estimate how many local mom-and-pop bookstores have closed since that time, as well.
The reasons are clear. Between e-books and online purchasing, it’s fair to say that most book sales happen over the Internet. But does it really offer what a bookstore does? Can it offer you that something special about walking into a bookstore, wandering down the aisles, and being open to the possibility of anything that catches your attention—not specifically using the search bar function to find exactly what you want?
Maybe that’s why the last remaining major bookstores like Barnes & Noble have turned to a wider variety of inventory—such as the CDs, movies, and magazines—in order to keep their doors open.
Perhaps it’s a good thing that they’re even still able to stay in business. Imagine a world without local bookstores—you’d have to make all of your book purchases online.
From time to time, I have to remind myself that despite walking into a bookstore and not getting that traditional experience I’d like, it is better than not having a local bookstore at all.
Keep bookstores alive—buy your next book in a bookstore.