The Book Barn is closing!

It’s confirmed; Duncan first reported it yesterday and it appears in today’s paper (E-edition online only; no link). They’ve been downtown on Minnesota Avenue for 35 years (though not at the exact same location). 35 years! I don’t even know what to say.

(And before anybody points an accusative finger as to supposed lack of community support, yes, I have bought books from them.)

On the bright side, they plan to continue to exist online (and take phone orders starting June 1). I hope that works out for them.

8 thoughts on “The Book Barn is closing!

  1. The quote from Linda in the paper PROVES the point I was trying to make in your post about Costco several months back.

    If people shop at the large, national chains instead of at the locally owned businesses, eventually, those locally owned businesses will close.

    This is fine if the bottom line for the consumer is paying the cheapest prices possible, no matter where you shop or where your money goes or what kind of retail climate your town has. This is fine if capitalism rules all.

    For me, I want my town to have a unique business climate, NOT a homogenized one (GAP, Barnes/Noble, Costco, etc.) that looks like every other town in the U.S. When Bend looks like every other town in the U.S., we lose our unique character.

    I want to be able to go into a one-of-a-kind shop with a line of products tailored to locals, and I want to get to know my local shop owner and enjoy his/her’s friendly service. And I want him/her to take my money and spend it elsewhere in this community, not send it to the bean-counters in another state.

    You (that’s a general you, not YOU, blogger) can seek out the cheapest price if you want, but to ignore the effect that has on the culture and landscape of a community is dangerous.

  2. I try to do the right thing and shop locally. Everytime I want to buy a book I go to the locally owned shops first. Unfortunately, they never have had what I was looking for so I end up at BN.

    I will definitely shop the online versions of the stores when I need to order stuff though.

    So sad to see the little shops go.


  3. Barbara … that’s part of the problem, though. Book Barn and any other local bookstore could order that book for you and have it in a day or two. In our need-it-now, instant-gratification culture no one leaves room for shopping locally. Call your local bookstores, see if they have what you want. If they don’t ask them to order it for you and you’ll have it in hand in a day or two and you won’t have to pay shipping. This is how I order all my books if they’re not in stock. Just have the patience to wait. No local store (books, bikes, whatever) is going to have the physcial space to stock everything a big box does. Outside of getting more, more, more stuff for the cheapest possible price, I can’t see why anyone shops a box.

  4. People shop at big boxes because Americans are cheap, lazy and materialistic, Elaia. Which is why you go to Costco and the place is crawling with slovenly goons in sweatpants and crocs. There’s no big-picture thought going on whatsoever.

    Which is why Wal-Mart wants to build a gigantic store in north Bend, 15 miles down the road from their (super-popular) gigantic store in Redmond. Because people will go there.

    Never mind the effect on the local economy. Never mind the effect of a 200,000 square foot store on the environment and infrastructure. Never mind the effect that $8 t-shirt has on the woman who made it in Taiwan, who’s making pennies an hour because Wal-Mart forces its suppliers to sell at cheaper prices every year.

    It’s horrible, really, and anyone who doesn’t see it or won’t acknowledge it is either ignorant, stubborn or just doesn’t care.

    The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer, and the middle class disappears. And all the biggest companies line the streets of Anytown, U.S.A. with their stores, and they steer all us citizens (aka sheep) to the products they want us to buy. And slowly everyone dresses the same and eats the same things and listens to the same music and so on and so on. We become pawns in the rich guys’ game.

    Support independent, locally owned businesses.

  5. Anon, your a judgmental idiot. Have you become the spokesman for all of us? You can say what you want about the big stores but some people shop there because they are on a budget and cannot afford to shop locally. Like it or not, the big stores are cheaper in most cases. Because someone buys a book at BN doesnt mean they are materialistic (how does where you buy something make you materialistic?) You sterotype people by where they shop? What other steroetypical jusdgments do you make about people? And you talk about us wearing, eating and being entertained by the same things…thats called culture, there are many all around the world. Maybe you should go to BN and get a book on the subject.

    We are all pawns and sheep. We use and get used. Greed has been the order of the day for millinia and is not going to change anytime soon.

  6. I’ll tell you what other judgments I make, Anonymous: Based on your small-minded arguments, your typos, your poor sentence structure, and so on, I’m pretty sure you’re, to be blunt, not all that bright.

    And I won’t waste my time arguing big-picture topics with someone who doesn’t get it and isn’t going to get it.

    You just keep buying cheap crap at Wal-Mart and using "your" where you ought to be using "you’re."

  7. Thats it? My "poor sentence structure"? The great debater everybody! By the way, you assume too much; I never said I shopped at Wal-Mart, I said some do out of necessity. You know, the elderly woman on a fixed income who cant afford to pay 50% more for something she needs so she can support local business? You are the one who doesnt get it.

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