Writing in The American Conservative, Gracy Olmstead laments the changes that have happened as Barnes & Noble fights for relevance. She suggests B&N emulate the changes at independent book stores, such as more book signings and readings, rather than the course B&N has chosen. She writes:
But as it is, everything that Barnes & Noble does today is done as well or better by someone else. You could go to its café and get a Starbucks coffee and croissant—or you could go to the nearest indie coffee shop and get higher-quality versions of the same things. Nearly every café and coffee shop offers free wifi and space to work these days. And indie bookstores usually offer both new and old books at the same (or better) prices, while providing their customers with a greater sense of passion and reverence.
Barnes & Noble has long been a place of learning and love. But in its determination to innovate, it has forgotten its telos. Which means that it won’t survive much longer unless it can rediscover what made it special in the first place.
Read more here.