The national book store chain Borders folded in 2011, leaving Barnes & Noble as the undisputed king of Big Huge Chain Bookstores. In that specific industry, B&N has had no competition for the past year and a half. Yet they are preparing to downsize anyhow. The Big Huge Chain Bookstore golden era has passed.
Borders, America's second biggest book store chain, died this summer, its red-trimmed outlets sinking inexorably into a savage sea of red ink. (Beat that lede, Wall Street Journal!) For Barnes & Noble, the most popular book chain, this could be interpreted as good news: its biggest competitor was gone. Or, bad news: book stores are a dying industry.
You think the owner of that book store doesn't know what you're doing? Oh, they know exactly what you're doing. You say you "love" books? You say you enjoy perusing the soothing aisles of a book store, so lovingly curated by a book store owner who spends his or her life ensuring that the very latest and most interesting book selections are there, presented for you in the most interesting possible way? You like that a lot? Yeah. So you can go home and order that shit online. Fuckers.
The Strand, the humongous New York bookstore by Union Square that is like one of the biggest used book stores ever of all time, has always attracted lots of young workers who take the low pay in exchange for the cool factor of working at the place, and the chance to be around books all day. One negative: the store is run by a despised woman named Nancy Bass Wyden (trivia: she's married to Oregon Senator Ron Wyden). I've known several people who worked at The Strand, and they universally agree on her tyranny. Now, the New York Press has actually done some investigative work on the claims, and it's found evidence for allegations of racial discrimination, callous disregard for pregnant women, and—most terrifyingly—"fungus from rats."