If you were a Barnes & Noble employee and lost your job this week, positive vibes coming your way. I have worked in bookstores and libraries and those were wonderful jobs. I love being around books. My previous job was with an eCommerce bookstore / publisher, and I had hoped to be there through retirement. Didn’t happen, so I feel for you if you were laid off.
I miss the experience of a bookstore, the kind I had twenty years ago. I worked for B&N in the 90s and helped open a store. Back then it was about being part of the community. Our store held events every week. We walked the floor helping customers. We were encouraged to come up with ideas to bring people in. These days, I walk into B&N and I don’t know if anybody is working there. The toys and trinkets have taken up more real estate, too.
People want to blame Amazon for this, but B&N has had competition for decades. Amazon’s biggest concern is Walmart now. I think what is killing B&N is the fact it isn’t what it used to be. It’s one thing to sell product, it’s another to be place that feels part of the community. I feel that’s missing, and if it doesn’t come back we know what will happen.