Tuesday, January 03, 2012

The Domino Theory, Dept.

And hot on the heels of my report of Melody Records' imminent closing, your sobsister learned this morning that the last decent Barnes and Noble in town closed over the weekend.

Me, I'm not generally a fan of B&N.  The stores tend to stock the obvious and not very much of anything else.  The difference between B&N and the late, lamented Borders always seemed to hinge on selection.  Both had wi-fi and coffee bars and a high degree of tolerance for people with ample leisure time and little inclination to pay cash money for their reading material.  But only Borders seemed to take time and care in its selection, going beyond the lazy man's "five Shakespeares and a Mamet and call it a theater section" to offer what FM radio calls "deep cuts."  With the exception of the Georgetown B&N.  Motivated perhaps by its proximity to the university and by its literate, affluent neighborhood clientele, the Georgetown store stocked its three floors thoughtfully, so that poetry and essays and theology and all the other categories that don't have a Stephen King or Nora Roberts to keep the pot boiling weren't shunted off to a corner with a few lonely specimens to represent them.

So, D.C. is now down to one-and-a-half B&Ns for its chain bookstores (and, no, I don't count "Books-A-Million"--which offers a selection that crosses the county line from "Pathetic" to "Insulting"--unless you're a real big fan of the "Left Behind" series, in which case you're shittin' in tall cotton, cousin!) and one decent indie bookstore, Politics and Prose.  Oh, and good luck if you don't live in Northwest D.C., hon.

But the upside?  We've got more cupcake and frozen yogurt outlets than the Duggars have neglected children!  Sometimes you can even buy them both in the same store!  Can you stuff froyo inside a cupcake?  Dibs, I thought of it first!  Excuse me, what's that now...? Books? Music?  We're talking about never having to walk more than two blocks in any direction for froyo!!  Honestly...

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