‘Save Barnes & Noble’: Twitter worried parts of US will be left without bookstores
The opinion piece cited the company’s declining revenue as reason to believe the Fortune 500 company is in trouble. Total sales for the third quarter were $1.2 billion, declining 5.3 percent on the same period last year.
Barnes & Noble has more than 600 stores across the US, prompting fears that, if the company went under, some areas would be left without a bookshop.
Make no mistake: the loss of over 600 more bookstores would be a cataclysmic blow to literacy and reading and empathy in America. We need Barnes & Noble. We need all bookstores, indie and chain. Pure and simple, we need books. https://t.co/uBGKAta4pL— Chris Bohjalian (@ChrisBohjalian) May 7, 2018
Nothing can compare to browsing a bookstore and getting lost for hours reading back cover blurbs. Save Barnes & Noble.— Kyle Designs (@designs_kyle) May 7, 2018
THE LAST GREAT BOOKSTORE IN AMERICA IS ON ITS WAY OUT. A long and lingering visit to the bookstore, Barnes & Noble, has always been one of the great joys of visiting America. It's great rival Borders, which also had a good coffee and sandwich bar, has... https://t.co/l9ZoN7w7Ah— Mohan Guruswamy (@mohanguruswamy) May 7, 2018
Online retail giant Amazon has been blamed for the crisis, accused of creating massive problems for the publishing industry with its “artificially low prices.”
However, many social media users were quick to point out the irony of the situation and recall how Barnes & Noble decimated the independent bookstore. “It’s a taste of their own medicine,” one user wrote, while another called it ‘karma.’
"Save Barnes & Noble" is so bananas to me because I am very old and remember when B&N kicked the mom and pop bookstores out of town with cheaper prices. Taste of their own medicine.— Annemarie Dooling (@TravelingAnna) May 7, 2018
“Save Barnes & Noble”? Seriously? You guys do remember that they are responsible for he death of thousands of independent books stores right?— Alex Leo (@AlexMLeo) May 7, 2018
Go watch “You’ve Got Mail”! (I’m only half kidding) https://t.co/2ayNm9orbv
Wait, so now people want to save Barnes & Noble? Didn't they kill off the local bookstores by undercutting them on price just to raise prices once the competition was gone? They are the Walmart of books. This isn't a tragedy, its karma.— SMP (@StefanSmp) May 7, 2018
The "Save Barnes & Noble" story is amusing, given what they did to independent booksellers years ago. B&N has much to do internally to turn things around. Why do they have large music sections with CDs & DVDs? The ones I've seen always look deserted compared to rest of store.— Dirk Hoag (@Forechecker) May 7, 2018
Others pointed out that Amazon had actually created opportunities for small book sellers to reach global markets and suggested Barnes & Noble had destroyed their own business model by turning their interest to toys and videogames.
"Save Barnes & Noble" Amazon has opened opportunity for small book sellers to reach a global market. It also makes books affordable to people who have limited access to libraries and large selections. It also gives new writers and out of print books a new and bigger audience.— Tru Justice (@FarRightGirl) May 7, 2018
Respectfully disagree with the premise of @DLeonhardt's "Save Barnes & Noble." Amazon disrupted B&N's business model, just as B&N did to smaller books stores 25 years ago.— Mark Story (@markstory_) May 7, 2018
Can't have it both ways. https://t.co/wxtN6ARaLVpic.twitter.com/8NGxvQiHMa
The focus should be on saving libraries and rejuvenating independent bookstores, some users suggested, expressing little sympathy for the potential demise of the corporate giant.
So cease the "Save Barnes & Noble" stuff. They are responsible for their own situation. How about clamoring for old school retailers to wake up and evolve instead of painting them as imaginary victims of a changing space?— Patrick Scott Patterson (@OriginalPSP) May 7, 2018
Instead of trying to save Barnes & Noble, who put so many small book stores out of business, maybe people should try getting their local governments to increase funding for libraries. You know, that place you can go any time to browse physical books and take them out for free.— Jenny Grey (@JennyTheGrey) May 7, 2018