In my sleepy town, the world shuts down at 8:30 pm. Once upon a time, our town had a Barnes & Noble, and at that time, our little town stayed up until 9:00 pm., maybe even sometimes 10:00 pm. It was a sad day when they closed their doors, and I was there. I had purchased a few items, and the lady at the cashier was grief-stricken. Sure, she was losing her job, but we both knew something greater was at stake. It was and is the beginning of new era: the era of disappearing bookstores.
That was two years ago, and hopefully that cashier got another job, possibly even working at another Barnes & Noble. There’s another store a few towns over, just far enough away that I never seem to get to it.
The Barnes & Noble is usually a warehouse of a store, am I right? When it closed, it sat vacant for a long time, reminding us all that once books lived there, and coffee and couches.
But have no fear, Halloween came along….the holiday that boasts over $2.5 billion in candy sales alone. A huge warehouse with an empty come-hither, vacant, dusty space was finally in demand. What space could be better for costumes, witches, werewolves…and….
I got you, didn’t I? This scared the living daylights out of my son. Here he can be seen running away from this friggin place.
That mega Halloween store is not as mega this season, and made another temporary home to right of this picture… (not shown).
Many moons since, a whole lot of bottles have moved in.
Introducing the latest occupant….Total Wine & More!
Incidentally, last summer I noticed many college-age kids camping out in the parking lot in a nearby shopping center with actual patio furniture. I imagine all these kids live with their parents and have nowhere else to go. I don’t know what they’ll do when it’s chilly out. Now would they even inhabit a Barnes & Noble?
Let me tell you one thing I know, they ain’t getting into Total Wine. It’s a kind of a slap in the face. Let’s take the last place you maybe mighta coulda hung out in kids…
Nope…now it’s truly the parking lot for you guys.
But there is wine.
Rows and rows of it, stacked to the ceiling.
Kind of like books….NOT. More delicate than books. Better not let your toddler run loose. Can you imagine?
That said, I like this store. I can always find a delectable wine at a good price. Wines in all aromas, flavors, styles, for any kind of dish from regions all over the world. Germany, France, Portugal, South Africa, lots of places, and local wines, too. You have many decisions to make here. Would you like something light and crisp with a hint of pear? Perhaps, you require a more intense, full-bodied experience. Will you pair it with a dish? Maybe you need something sweet like butterscotch or vanilla. Are you in the mood for soft and elegant? Decide your mood.
Feeling confused? Just like the book recommendations at Barnes & Noble, they have a wine team here with their favorite picks.
I chose Chuck’s* favorite, a French Luc Pirlet Cabernet Sauvignon. I honed in on the milk chocolate and dark cherry flavors. Sadly, I did not have any grilled flank steak to go with it.
There are plenty of beer and spirits, too.
Your Froggy B…
Let’s not forget your Pumpkinhead…
If you want to whet your palate, you can taste. I noticed, however, that there are no chairs.
Oh, Barnes & Nobles., this store might as well be screaming, “There are no books here. Just get drunk!” But what about a few chairs at the tasting booth? And while they’re at it, how about a few more chairs strewn about the store…
…and a couch or two, a rug, reading lamp…a glass of wine.
I’ll bring a book like old times. Now we’re talking.
What about you? Have you seen a bookstore close in your town or city? What replaced it? Do you still get out to a bookstore? Do you want to?
*Names have been changed to protect identities.