Galen Moore over at the website BostInno has an interesting take on precisely that bit of bookstore history:
Now, indie bookstores are back stronger than ever. Borders is gone and Barnes & Noble's future is uncertain. Now the big-box bookstore chain wants to bring back the experience of browsing books in a bookstore with a knowledgeable staff to help with good picks. Except they're bringing it back on an e-reader.
So Barnes & Nobles wants to bring back that old independent bookstore experience for its customers - even though so many of its bookstore employees don't seem to know squat about books - but they want to do it on their proprietary e-reader, the Nook. Give me a break, B&N.
Here's my favorite part of Mr. Moore's article:
Sales of their Nook e-reader keep falling. If current trends persist, at some point there will be more indie bookstores in business than there are Barnes & Noble e-readers in use.
Somewhere way down deep inside me, I would hate to see Barnes & Noble fail to the point where it had to shutdown all of its brick & mortar stores, but it is really, really hard for me to feel sorry for these guys. Really hard.