Barnes & Ignoble

You, the businessman. Explain it to me.
You eliminate book groups, writing groups, author signings, events like Gotham Writers free instruction and Toastmasters demonstration on public speaking, local singers, wipe out all of that. Ignore the community around you. Do all this while competing with your own chain in New York, Edgewater, Clifton and Paramus, as well as Borders in Fort Lee.
Essentially gut the store of any connection with a thriving artistic, educated public, and you wonder where your customers went?
You had initiative and imagination once. You hired a person to coordinate events. Did you save THAT much money when you downsized her?
Your store meant something to the city. I recall long vibrant, contentious discussions on stimulating books we bought at your place. Fellow writers met and critiqued each other’s work. Local authors read from their work and sold copies. Every week something was going on, something affordable where people bonded.
I don’t know much about the children’s activities, but I’m sure lots of parents who supported the store feel betrayed.
You can present evidence for your decision. E-Books and devices containing thousands of works for free, tough economic times, the increased popularity of libraries, no shelf room for smaller literary gems, being undercut in price by Amazon, Overstock, E-Bay, Costco, Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, and Target.
I guess your rent went up. So did every one else’s, as well as taxes in this mismanaged town.
Maybe you should have sold health foods on the side or posters of the cast of Jersey Shore or given yoga lessons in a back room.
Life will go on. It’s unlikely another bookstore will open in that spot. I’m thinking a giant nail spa or an extension Kinney’s parking lot. Maybe former Gov. Corzine will move his political machine into the building in preparation for a presidential run in 2012. They could always rebuild the Clam Broth House bigger and better.
Luckily I have a car and can take my business elsewhere, places that have cushiony couches and chairs where I can read in peace and maybe, if the price of gas goes down and my health insurance premiums stabilize, I can actually afford to buy a book. At least a magazine. – Joe Del Priore
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