Bookstores used to be unique experiences, reflecting a character that was a factor of where they were, as well as who owned them. If you were a New York book lover you only have to think of the old Scribner's bookstore on Fifth Ave with it's elegant wrought iron staircases, or the late great Murder, Ink bookstore with shelves overstuffed with classics of mystery, or even the row of slightly shabby secondhand shops that once existed along Second Ave.
It is a sad but true fact that the last twenty years or so have seen a trend of creeping homogenization of bookstores into one vast supermarket, similar in stock and layout regardless of the location. Uniqueness, individuality is no longer a defining characteristic: until now.
A certain storefront in a Scarsdale mall, once the home of Borders (remember that chain?) will soon be the home of a new Barnes and Nobles. This will not be just any Barnes and Nobles though. According to an inside source it will be an "upscale" store that will include a "five star restaurant" and other features that are "appropriate to the area."
"It just fits," said our source with a slightly dreamy look in his eyes. Brace yourself for upscale book retailing. Gloria Steinem once wrote, “Wherever I go, bookstores are still the closest thing to a town square.” Perhaps this is a trend that Barnes and Noble will continue. Personally, I am looking forward to the "down market" store in my neighborhood.