Monday, August 22, 2005

Too many customers in those large bookstores?

The New York Times for August 21, 2005 has a piece entitled "Hell is Other Customers" by Charles Taylor. It tells the travails and woes of a customer trying to browse in one of the megabookstores, which seem to have become "flophouses" for people who simply park on aisles for hours with their coffee, blocking traffic. It is a piece I can relate to. A trip to the B&N nearby confirms this. It is not as bad as the ones the author describes, but indeed, I know what he means about the couches being like a land grab. In the science fiction area, which happens to also be near the manga, there is a nice set of easy chairs that is always occupied by teenagers reading and sprawled out as if it was the living room of their home, books strewn all over the area as if a hurricane had gone by. I am all for browsing and reading, but I do have to wonder at times, especially when it seems they are the same kids every time I go in. What the author seems to find most disturbing is the lack of common manners on the part of the flopped people, and this is why the article caught my eye: I am not too tolerant of poor manners or lack of common courtesy. Readers have to wonder how long before this becomes a problem for the chains. Maybe something like this may be a point in favor for the smaller independents? Only time will tell. I picked up on this story at LISNews.

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