Barnes and Noble Bitch

What the HELL is it with Barnes and Noble?
They have a wall full of “New Age” crap, but you have to special-order any books by James Randi, Michael Shermer or Martin Gardner. They have SKEPTIC magazine filed in the “Religion” section of the rack, and FATE magazine filed in the “Science” section!
I have found this to be true in four different B&N stores, so it seems to be store policy.
This type of idiocy really pisses me off. :frowning:


B&N is a consumer-oriented retail establishment. That sounds like a redundancy, but it isn’t. And it also sounds like it should be a GOOD thing, but unless you’re Captain Mainstream, listening to Mariah Carey as you wash down your Big Mac with a cold Coca-Cola, it doesn’t really fit your needs.

Up at B&N Corporate HQ, the Masterminds of book retail are carefully tracking sales in your hometown, using mighty computers.

“The figures indicate that the men and women ofPortland crave hogwash,” says one to the other. “Therefore, let us provide an entire wall devoted to New Age material.”

“That would mean getting rid of the Martin Gardner section…and what of slythe, and his friends and relations, who seek to battle ignorance through facts, figures, and the philosophy of the Ages?”

Slythe should have patronized his local independent book dealer, even if it never served him latte. For him, it is too late.”

Remember also that the store is manned by 17 year old kids, a lot of whom have never read a book in their life.

“Hey, dude! Where does this book on alien abductions go?”

“I dunno. It has to do with space. Put it in the science section.”

I once found Foxfire in the animal section. When I told one of the people who worked there (fortunately ours isn’t manned by 17-year-olds) that it was a collection concerning the Appalachian people, he told me that what section the book would be placed in is determined by the head office. He suggested putting a comment in the suggestion box, but he couldn’t promise it would work. The next time I went there I didn’t see it in the animal section but someone might have bought the only copy on the shelf.

B&N bites goats that have been felched.

True story: Buying a BD gift for my daughter. Ask ‘clerk’(zombie, troll, incessant masturbator?) the location of East of Eden. Clerk, “Is that a religion book, sir?”

Close the fucking place down and make it into a skatepark, ferpetesake!! And get rid of that Starbucks. They roast that coffee so much my smoke detector goes off when I bring it home.

I had this discussion with some people on another message board a few years ago. I was bitching about Graham Hancock books being placed in the archaeology section. One guy had the best one…a college bookstore had shelved Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance in the automotive section.

Mmmmmmmm… Big Macs…

A good friend of mine was fired by B&N for asking customers if they needed a bag. It seems that question might make a customer feel guilty or bad for wanting a bag, and therefore not have the wonderful fuzzy-warm B&N experience they so richly deserve.

Speaking of bags, who designed their ugly author bags?? If I must have a bag, I’ll pay extra not to get one of those.

Having put two fine local bookstores out of business, the big B&N is the only store now available on my ride home from work. Fortunately today I was lucky enough to find a lone copy of “Tropic of Capricorn” without having to look in the travel section.

I once crabbed at the manager of the downtown Minneapolis B&N over the quality of their “women’s section” in the magazine rack. I was looking for some feminism-oriented publications, and instead, I found one copy of Ms. and at least three rows of Cosmo, Ladies Home Journal, Redbook and other recipe/good sex/emergency-makeover rags. So much for the movement. :rolleyes:


Sorry, I forgot to say one thing.

I no longer patronize the B&N for zines… I go to my local independent bookstore for those now.


msrobyn, you should ask your B&N to stock “More,” a wonderful, intelligent magazine for women over 40.

[end of plug]

robyn: Hi, B&N, I was wondering if you could stock “More”
B&N: Ma’am, we have quite a large selection as it is.
robyn: No, I’m not saying your selection is inadequate. I’m just telling you to stock “More”
B&N: Oh. You think our selection is large enough, you just want us to stock more.
robyn: Exactly!
B&N: >click<

You’ll forgive me if I think this is complete horseshit, won’t you?

My ex-SO works for the local Borders. A new B&N just opened a few hundred yards away.

I have visited the B&N and am not impressed. Does anyone here have an opinion about Borders vs B&N. And, yes, I’m upset they both put many independents out of biz.

Horseshit? Yes and no. I should have said “A good friend of mine claims…” The truth of the matter is that my friend “Jessi” is a might pushy on the environmental front. Indeed she worked in my business for over 6 months before moving to California and irritated not just a few people.

“Jessi” was never shy about pointing out perceived environmental shortcomings of our store. We were not recycling enough. We used too much paper. The thermostat was either too high or too low. Etc. etc.

She was, however, wonderful with customers. She got work done in almost double the time of some of the average employees. She was reliable and would cover shifts for her fellow employees. Her cashiering was 100% accurate. She NEVER harassed the customers.

I have no doubt “Jessi” found plenty to criticize at the B&N. Our business found ways to adapt and take advantage of her strengths while allowing her to openly voice her rather strong beliefs.

Of course I don’t believe she was let go for simply asking customers about bags. She probably made herself a pain in the ass with regard to her environmental beliefs and the bag issue was the proverbial back breaking straw. I do believe that “Jessi” believes she was let go for the bag difference of opinion.

I also know “Jessi” wouldn’t stock “The Atlantic Monthly” in with the travel magazines, which our local B&N did until our alternative weekly got on their case.

I get so fed up at mainstream media outlets (like B&N, Borders, Musicland, etc), anyway, simply because the corporate people are morons, and most of the staff are a bit slack-jawed.

I worked at a Waldenbooks in college, and I graciously offered to come in early on a Saturday or Sunday and re-arrange the computer section so that it made sense, and so it would be easier to point customers to what they needed. The manager said, no, that the book arrangement was determined at the corporate office. Fine, I said. They lost some money on a corporate account because no one could find the subject they were looking for. (I think one of the larger employers in town wanted some MCSE booksets for training. At over $150 a pop, that was a HUGE sale, lost)

Oh, well, I guess I’m lucky enough to live in an area blessed with independent book and music outlets.

BTW… I won’t be needing “More” for at least another ten years or so :wink:

And this, my friends, is why it is best to shop at an independent bookstore. I know, cause I work in one. When you want a book we don’t have in stock, guess what! We’ll order it for you. No charge, it’ll be here in a couple days. We’ll call you when it comes in. Find a book in the wrong section? No bother, look, I can change the section on the computer right in front of you. We don’t have corporate policy, we’re independent. Looking for some local history books? Cool, we’ve got a section devoted to that. And nope, we’re not 17-year-old kids, we’re all college-educated and we do know how to read. Local author or artist? We’d be happy to have you do a reading in the store, or a display in our window.

It’s not just because I work in an independent bookstore that I think they’re better - they really are. I’ve always shopped at local stores, although I have been in enough chains to know what they do. I know we’re lucky, because ours is the only new book store (there are a couple used shops) in town, so we don’t have to compete with B&N or whatever, but others are not as lucky. Price differences are little to none. Shop independent!

Biotop–thanks for the clarification. That makes a bit more sense to me.

In East Brunswick, Borders has it over B&N. Borders is pretty well stocked and the clerks generally have a clue to what’s going on (or at least they’ve tried to find what I was looking for and they listened to my suggestions). B&N is a weak-sister excuse for a bookstore (limited selection is my biggest complaint).

What I’d like to find is a decent used-book store or a good independent in central NJ. Suggestions anyone?

A bus to New York City.