Thursday, June 2, 2016

Another Bookstore Gone

Yesterday I walked to the Barnes and Noble store at 12th and E Streets NW, to discover that it was gone. Now Barnes and Noble is represented in the District of Columbia only by the college bookstores it runs. One must go to Clarendon, Alexandria, or Bethesda to shop at a Barnes and Noble that is not in the textbook business.

I never liked Barnes and Noble as much as I liked some of its competitors. It hadn't the breadth of technical books that one could find at Borders. The choices for literature and history weren't up to Borders or to Olsson's. But Borders and Olsson's are gone, five and eight years since. Barnes and Noble was still there, selling books, music, and maps, until it wasn't.

There would have been a time about fifteen years ago when I could walk within twenty minutes to any of
  • Two Borders stores, one in the old Garfinkel's building on 14th about G, one at 19th and L.
  • The Olsson's on 19th above N.
  • The Barnes and Noble at 12th and E.
  • Chapters, either at K and 15th or at 11th and E.
  • Reiters at 20th and K.
Reiters survives, much diminished. It always primarily carried technical books. At this point, college and religious bookstores apart, Washington, DC (for new books) is in the hands of the independent stores: Bridge Street Books, Kramerbooks, and Politics and Prose chiefly.

1 comment:

  1. Sad. In 2015, B & N applied to "spin off" its still-successful college textbook division. So that's why those stores are still around.