Thursday, November 29, 2012

Report: Barnes & Noble closing Greenwich Village location

In his column at The Villager this week, Scoopy notes that the Barnes & Noble on Sixth Avenue at Eighth Street is closing for good on Dec. 31.

Meanwhile, entertainment columnist Roger Friedman had this to say about the closure:

In the mid 1980s, Barnes & Noble swallowed up Marboro Books, Bookmasters and B Dalton, among other booksellers. They killed off small booksellers all over the country, eventually destroying business for many beloved New York landmarks like Colosseum, Books & Co., Gotham, Doubleday, and many others. St. Marks Bookstore, in its reduced form, is rumored to be downsizing and moving again.

B&N wanted to rule the world. They took over the B Dalton store at what used to be the gateway of Greenwich Village, but also added a behemoth store at 21st and Sixth (now gone), Lincoln Center (now gone), and downsized the famous main store at Fifth Avenue and 18th st. On upper Fifth Avenue, they ravaged Scribner Books, the best bookstore in New York, which became Rizzoli and is now a Benetton or some clothier.

[Image via Showbiz 411]

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Friedman's comment is spot-on and very necessary in terms of reminding us, if we actually needed reminding, of the original B&N search and destroy campaign. I miss many of those independent bookstores that fell, especially Scribner's and Coliseum Books. Coliseum was a great place to have a good long browse, and the first place I bought a book (about Stanley Kubrick)after I had moved here in the mid-80s.

Sometimes 'takeovers' don't always work out.

Richard Bensam said...

I've never forgiven that Barnes & Noble for not being the Nathan's that it was when I first moved here. That place was New York itself for me. (And to add injury to injury, now we have to wait until Spring for them to rebuild and reopen the original at Coney.)

And while I'm at it, I still miss the Brentano's that was at Eighth and University.



3G said...

at least the Strand is still surviving it seems.

Anonymous said...

good riddance - read about the CEO, he's stubborn to change & bringing the company down all by himself! He started the store & he's gonna finish it.

Anonymous said...

A giant mega bookstore squeezing out the little book shops; someone should make a movie about that.

Anonymous said...

Mr Friedman--Thanks for the history.

Anonymous said...

Live by the sword, die by the sword.

When I moved to the East Village in 1977 there were bookstores up and down 4th Avenue, on 3rd Avenue between 7-9, Pageant of course. My two favorites were a huge one across from where Astor Wines used to be where Kinko's is on Astor Place and a bookstore specializing in the occult on 3rd b/t 7 & SMP.

Browsing in a bookstore was an outing. You could do it all day.

Hey19 said...

Its too bad it had to happen this way, but I think in the future, there will be much more demand for indy bookstores, and zero demand for B&Ns. Its a bummer that so many indys got caught in the cross fire of the past 20 yrs.

If you want a huge impersonal experience, where you essentially know what you are looking for, you will just go to amazon, which is much better anyway. If you want a more intimate, curated, obscure local place, you will go to your local indy shop.

Unfortunately, the invisible hand of capitalism only works in the long run, in the short run there can be regrettable collateral damage.

Anonymous said...

Fuck Amazon

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/02/mac-mcclelland-free-online-shipping-warehouses-labor

http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2017883596_amazonintro25.html

Hey19 said...

@939
Well thats another conversation, not that I dont not disagree with you.

I guess my shorter point is just that I think there will be a place in the future for indy bookstores, and record stores, but recently has been a tough time for them.

patty cake said...

i miss book and record stores so much. I am glad these mega stores failed... now maybe the indies can come back. I will never subscribe to an e reader..those things poison your eyes. PAPER FOREVER!!!

Anonymous said...

Kids don't miss book & record stores, that's why they won't magically reappear even after certain mega-retailers collapse under their own weight.