A city without a bookstore selling new books is like a body without a soul

Dear Editor:
My family is both disheartened and stunned about the upcoming Barnes and Noble closing. I know Barnes and Noble isn’t going to change their minds, but I would like to make them aware of what they are doing or at least spark interest in someone who might want to open an indie store here. Recently, I saw a posting that said, “Gee, thanks, B&N for coming into our town and pushing out our three Indies and now you’re leaving us in the lurch” and it’s true. I remember those Indies and they just couldn’t compete. And now B&N is leaving us without a bookstore selling new books? A city as big and urban as Hoboken?
B&N has been part of the community for so long. When our son was born, it was his home away from home. We have photographs of him sprawled on the floor reading, piles of books beside him (and yes, we bought the books, we didn’t use the store as a library). My husband and I both write books for a living and we’ve found that being able to browse and buy in a bookstore is invaluable. My family has spent hours at B&N, checking out titles, reading, hanging out, and buying books. I know the store is a mecca for parents (kids love it), and a great place to meet people.
For a city filled with writers and readers, this is truly a loss. But it’s also a loss for everyone here, because a city is judged by its cultural advantages – something Hoboken can’t afford to lose. Yes, we still have a used bookstore, but we need a new one. Yes, it’s convenient to buy on Amazon or download books on Kindle, but a great bookstore can also have readings and book groups and events going on (something this B&N originally did.) I know I can easily zip into NYC for the best bookstores in town, but I want one in my community.
We hope some entrepreneur will start an indie here. Hoboken needs and deserves a new book store.

Caroline Leavitt

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