I went into the Highland Park Barnes & Nobles today looking for a 2011 calender. When I was a young lad, it was a big event when the first B & N opened in Mankato, which was only a 15 mile drive away. Suddenly I had a place I actually wanted to visit in Mankato that wasn't a movie theater-they had tons of books, stylish, comfy chairs, and even a freaking coffee shop! It was a stunning development, really, and for the next eight or so years I'd visit frequently and leave with many a book.
Today, an older and more jaded Blogagaard visited his St. Paul B & N. First I had to squeeze through the narrow coffee shop/magazine entrance on the side of the store, march past a bunch of not-books merch that took up a good bit of floor space, and ignore the enormous Nook display that stood at the front of the store where actual books used to sit, resembling nothing more than a tribute to B & N's own eventual physical death. Once that was out of the way, I had to weave past many a glossy book, the covers of which I could only view as a published author myself-how'd they get that idea past marketing? How did they decide on that cover? What kind of a publicity was this author getting, and why? How many copies was that piece of bullshit going to sell?
Yes, gone was the B & N magic of yore, and to make matters worse, they barely had any calendars left in stock, at a time one would imagine they'd be selling pretty strongly. I guess good old B & N has decided that if you can't be bothered to buy a new calendar in October, you're shit out of luck until next year.
I had to walk out before I convinced myself to by a cat-themed calendar. Instead, I just went home and found exactly what I wanted on the Internet.