Bookstores and Some Bookshelf Porn

Giant bookstore chain Barnes & Noble recently announced that they’re going to put the company up for sale.

“Barnes & Noble has an iconic brand and unique competitive advantages we believe will position the company to succeed over time in a rapidly changing market,” the board said in a statement. “The board is confident in Barnes & Noble’s strategy and fully supportive of the senior management team, which is delivering explosive growth in our fast developing-digital business.”

That’s a nice piece of obfuscating corporate-speak. They’re so confident of the strategy they’re using to run the company they want to sell the company. Which means the ship’s captain and highest-ranking crew members are bailing on the ship first, before the rest of the crew and the rats can.

Unlike Barnes and Noble, here’s a post with some great photos about some of the world’s coolest looking book stores. They sell books. Not books and overpriced CDs, DVDs, and toys. Just books.

I’ve been to Buenos Aires and somehow managed to miss El Ateneo! Oh, well, next time I will make sure I find it.I’ve also been to Paris and did not go to Shakespeare & Co. I know, I’m a bad fan of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Joyce.

If all those pictures of bookshelves has gotten you all excited, then you are most definitely into Bookshelf Porn. And guess what? There’s a site for you. (Found this courtesy of a friend whose online persona is transientreporter.)

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6 thoughts on “Bookstores and Some Bookshelf Porn

  1. When I was a kid I’ve been many, many times to El Ateneo when it was a cinema, lived a block away from it.
    Matter of fact, on those three block radius they were four cinemas -old school cinemas, huge screens- well deep onto the nineties.

    Getting on topic, I know in the end it is just the so called “Corporate America”, but I really feel if Barnes goes down, it was my first experience with an open book store, where you can browse ad infinitum, takes notes, sit on the floor for hours; but I reckon that the last couple of times, I have found the Border’s far better, they lack the great coffee, tho.

    (Even tho Bs. As. has an “aura” for old book stores, where you can browse for hours, you might browse, yes, but, on many, they don’t let you takes notes; not to mention, seat on the floor to read… )

    • Wow, that’s very cool about growing up nearby and going to those old-school cinemas! Up here in the U.S.A. we’ve lost a lot of those old-school movie houses. The vast majority are gone, or carved up into smaller theaters with small screens. In L.A. my wife and I would often see movies at the Vista Theater in the Los Feliz neighborhood. It was an old-school theater that had been restored. Wonderful place to see movies.

      I liked B&N more years ago, along with Borders. I remember when a Borders opened in a suburb not too far from where I grew up. I was astounded. I’d never seen a bookstore so big, with so many titles. For the first time, I could find ALL of Algren’s and Fitzgerald’s books on the shelf, or, later, A.S. Byatt and writers in translation like Marquez and Camus. All of the bookstores in the malls were small, and they carried only a few titles by certain authors.

      But now Amazon has cut into the Big Chains the same way the chains cut into the independent bookstores. I was in Chicago the past few days and was pleased to see that Unabridged Bookstore in the Lakeview neighborhood is still there. When I lived in the city, I often went there because they had a great selection and a knowledgeable staff.

  2. Don’t want to rain on your parade, but, you can actually buy, besides books, CDs & DVDs on El Ateneo 😉
    Incidentally, the original El Ateneo branch, on Florida ujst a couple of blocks from Plaza de Mayo it is worth a look too, in case you ever come back to Argentina.
    Cumple 90 años la librería El Ateneo

    • When I come back to Argentina (not sure when), I will definitely take a look at El Ateneo and the original El Ateneo branch.

      And it’s okay to rain on my parade. 🙂

  3. Interesting about B&N! I wonder if they are bailing out of a future crash in print bookstores. I think it’s going to be interesting how many other leading stores will fare over time too.

    • Though I can’t see the complete disappearance of the book store, a crash might be coming. And you might be right about bailing out now, rather than wait for bankruptcy to happen.

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