Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Disappointed in … B&N

The past few weeks, I’ve been hanging out at a Barnes & Noble Café while my daughter takes an art class. With a half hour drive each way, it’s time better served working than returning home.

The people watching is amazing, and I’m starting to understand the whole hang-in-a-coffee-shop-and-write thing. I can get work done in a busy environment – one that doesn’t include my barking dogs and laundry calling out to be folded.

One problem, though, is all the cute goodies. Put me in a bookstore, and I can spend money. Lavender notebooks? Count me in! Oooh, does someone have a birthday coming up that I need a card for? And have you seen their collectible/toy section? Yes, I’m a fan of buying an unknown item in the box and getting a surprise.

This last week, I thought I’d buy a book from the Staff Recommends section. Up near the new releases and hardback, I remember B&N having some recommended reads, which often were new authors. A new book/author has been known to kickstart my own writing.  

I fantasized about the blog post I’d do: The first hardback purchased … well, in I don’t know how long. (Aside from the ones from my OCC/RWA chaptermates at meetings). Hopefully, it would be fabulous and inspiring.

Unfortunately, I was severely disappointed. Sure, there was a new Danielle Steele, and while I read the grand dame of romance for years, along with my grandmother, it’s been almost as long since I’ve picked one up. Oh, then there was this little-known book Catching Fire, because the movie will be releasing soon, and I can’t forget Charlaine Harris’s last Sookie book (already read it).

Where was the recommended section? Finally I found a small table off the queue. Two books sat there. Two! You know what they were?

William Shakespeare’s Star Wars by Ian Doescher, and F in Exams: The Best Test Paper Blunders by Richard Benson. Ummm, no thanks. Not interested in either one of those.

You know what I left with? Ribbon candy for stocking stuffers, a Domo stuffed toy for my daughter, and a Haunted Disneyland book (unofficial of course). No new fiction. With all the problems B&N and other bookstores have been suffering, I felt guilty.

What happened to the recommended reads? It should be an easy sell. Were the books not selling? Or, heaven forbid, the employees no longer reading?

We’ll see if the selections pick up in the coming month. So tell me, have a recommendation? What are you reading? (Of course, for those not participating in NaNoWriMo.)

Until next time,

Louisa Bacio

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