Summer is here and school is officially over in my area. The kids are home and already bored. To start the summer, I decided to drag them all over town to run errands and stock up the fridge. We live in a rural area of Vermont so when we go into town it’s an all-day event. One store we hit was Barnes and Noble.
Over the winter I discovered that both my kids have inherited my competitive gene so we’re having a contest. Starting today until August 1st we’ll see who reads the most books. Whoever wins gets to pick a local trip to go on.
I haven’t been to Barnes and Noble in over a year so the changes were a shock. Two things became very evident upon shopping:
1. Genre shuffle
2. Content for sale
First off, we went to the science fiction/fantasy isle for my oldest. I did a double take when I found Charlaine Harris, JR Ward, Kim Harrison, and Laurell K. Hamilton on the same shelves as Larry Niven, Tolkien, and Terry Brooks. I would have expected them in romance. I shrugged and went to the restroom. It’s on the second floor, way in the back of the store. THIS is where I found the romance section. One isle, only on one side. The Harlequin display was three small rows in the farthest corner of the store and NO ONE was shopping it. My heart sank and is still sitting in my gut.
When did paranormal romance become science fiction/fantasy? What happened to the three rows of romance books? And the shoppers I use to bump elbows with?
Second, we went to kids section for my youngest to buy his books. There were more LEGOS for sale than books. O_O All the kids in the area were playing with the toys for sale. We were the only ones browsing books. This broke my heart.
Then we went down to the main floor. At this point my eyes were open and searching the area, not as a mother but as a writer. Where were all the hardcover book displays when people entered the store? There was one small pyramid filled with books written my actors/comedians/reality TV stars. No fiction.
The first floor consisted of their coffee shop, the check out, and the huge NOOK center. (Not disappointed about the NOOK part. LOL) We went to the back of the store and found massive shelves filled with all kinds of mass market paperbacks. YAY!
They’re all used books for sale.
When did B&N start selling used books?
I had wanted to try looking for an agent next year and maybe try my hand at the mass market paperback route of publishing but this makes me worried. I know the industry is changing, sometimes so fast I can’t keep up. (Obviously.) Who else sells these types of books? Walmart, Costco, grocery stores? In my area, only the best sellers hit those racks.
Now, like I mentioned, I don’t go to B&N often. I have a NOOK because I live in a rural area and downloading a book is so much easier than traveling the roads. Are your local B&N like this?