The Barnes and Noble at University Village was one of my top five favorite bookstores. (Rounding out the list: Powell’s in Portland, Elliott Bay Books, Third Place Books, and the University Bookstore.) They had an astounding selection of fiction, photo books, computer science books, and for a brief glorious period, they had a great classical music selection. When I first moved to Seattle fifteen years ago, before I knew a single soul in the city, I’d pass the hours browsing through that store. Both our kids loved the bookstore, too, which had a great children’s book section complete with a train table.
Yesterday, the store closed. I took the kids over for one last stroll through the store. (Plus, I had to use up some old gift cards that had been sitting in a desk drawer.) The store was oddly empty… they’ve been removing shelves and stock for a few weeks now. A few employees seemed to have a good time; they were taking photos of one another and I saw at least one piggy-back ride. The customers had a harder time. Over and over, I heard different people mutter, “This is sad!” (I said it once myself.) And I saw one woman walking through the children’s section, crying.
Oh well. Long live the ebook era, I guess!