Where did all the books go?

Christine Whelan | Posted on 05/03/10

If wisdom and knowledge are virtues, since when did bookstores become more about fancy greeting cards and caffeine fixes?

In the last year, the Upper East Side of Manhattan has received a new Barnes & Noble bookstore -- a larger "flagship" location. But I swear there are fewer actually books per square foot than in any other "bookstore" I've ever seen.

The "gifts for readers" section is three times as large as the fiction & literature section. The in-store Starbucks takes up much more real estate than the history or social sciences section is allotted. And I'm not the only one who has taken issue here. 

The lack of books was confusing to little kids, too, apparently: Overheard by the New York Observer 

"But I don't want to go to the museum!" wailed a toddler, to which her mother replied, "This isn't the museum, it's the bookstore!"

If wisdom and knowledge are virtues, since when did bookstores become more about fancy greeting cards and caffeine fixes? (Oh, and yes, I'm also cranky because my most recent book, Marry Smart, was not in stock.)

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