Berkeley: now B&N free

I was driving down Shattuck Avenue today when my husband remarked, “Barnes and Noble looks out of business.” I looked right, and saw it: a shuttered Barnes and Noble bookstore, windows covered with brown paper.

I suddenly freaked–was Pegasus books, the independent bookstore across the street, okay? I looked left. The bookstore was still open.

It seems that on this particular corner of Berkeley, an independent bookstore has prevailed over Barnes & Noble. Which means: no more Barnes and Noble in Berkeley!

This, after a streak of independent bookstore closing–last year Clean Well Lighted Place for Books in SF, and Cody’s closing its SF and Telegraph Avenue stores.

Maybe the tides are turning.

Now, being a business woman myself in my non-writing life, I’m not someone to picket and protest outside of Walmart or anything.  But I do have a soft spot in my heart for independent bookstores, for what they offer, their personal touch, the wonderful events and readings, and their wonderful used book sections (B&N, as far as I know, does not offer used books in any of their stores).  I’m glad that they prevail.



Filed under The World

7 responses to “Berkeley: now B&N free

  1. Wow, I had a friend who worked there.

    As for closing B&Ns, the one on Astor Place in Manhattan is closing, too. (Rumor is it will become a gym.) I like the nearby St. Mark’s Bookstore, an independent store that is so awesome everyone should visit, so much better. But, Barnes & Noble?? I wonder if this somehow means even less people are reading and buying books than we’d thought? At work (one of the big book publishers) it’s a big concern. No wonder we get paid so horribly!

  2. nova: I really do believe fewer people are buying and reading books…and I wonder what the reason is behind the closing of B&N bookstores. I have a really grim picture of the literacy of America. 😦

  3. Eve

    Girl, you’re making me want to watch You’ve Got Mail!

    Our bookstores, independent and otherwise, are nearly always packed. I live in a university community, too. Wonder why the difference?

    And for the record, I will never believe that people are going to stop reading. There will always be readers and writers!

  4. In Cambridge, MA. the Barnes and Noble basically melded with the Harvard University COOP, essentially taking it over for all textbooks etc. The wonderful old independent bookstore, Wordsworth, that had been around for the whole thirty years I had been in the area folded. Only Harvard Bookstore is left in Harvard Square, not as close in proximity to B@N, and they have a whole used book basement.

  5. I dreamt that that Pegasus store had gone to back to an all-remainder stock — tables full of chicken soup type books (both cooking & spiritual). I actually remember being appalled in the dream.

  6. Yeah, that B&N has been closed for a while – maybe b/c there’s one in Emeryville and another in El Cerrito? Who knows.

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