Barnes & Noble Will Start Selling Beer and Wine, so You Can Booze and Peruse

Bookstores just aren’t what they used to be. But now you can get a beer while you peruse the Asian fashion magazines, because Barnes & Noble is going to sell beer in an attempt to get actual human bodies in their stores. Ever since Amazon and electronic reading devices came on the scene, Barnes & Noble stores have basically become an advertisement for their Nook with bad Starbucks outposts. Seriously, there are more toys and novelty items than there are books in Barnes & Noble, and that seems to be OK with them—as long as they don’t go the way of Borders, they’re into reinventing themselves.


According to the Chicago Tribune, Americans might be buying all of their shit online, but they still drop massive amounts of money on food and drinks. I mean, that’s where all my money goes, so it makes sense. And it’s not just going to be random beers in the cafe—they’re going full on table service, with “shareable, American food.” There will still be Starbucks and coffee, but you can have a meal, shop, and curl up with a book over a glass of wine. They’re even going to increase the seating outside of the cafe, which isn’t the greatest idea. As an ex-employee of a Barnes & Noble, I spent a lot of time getting guys to stop jerking off in those comfy chairs. But I digress.

It’s a cool idea—especially for places where they’re going to test it out. Like, in the middle of nowhere. The new resto-bookstore concept will be launched in Eastchester, New York, Edina; Minnesota; Folsom, California; and Loudon, Virginia. All places this city girl has never heard of.

In major metropolitan areas, most people just read a fucking book at a bar, which might sound weird to the people in Eastchester, but a girl has to take herself out to dinner now and again and the only way to fend off creeps is by shoving your face in a book. And not just any book. When I go out to a bar, I specifically choose books that are obscure or with titles that no one can ask me about. Not because I’m trying to be cool, but because I’m a book nerd and that’s the only way you can make it through a meal without having to listen to someone’s opinion about, say, Mindy Kaling.

So, at least there’ll be something to do in the 'burbs instead of aimlessly wandering around big box stores and smoking weed in the car. But if you ask me, this is a recipe for disaster for the poor employees who will now have to get semi-buzzed men to zip up and get out of the big chairs in the self-help section.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Close

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.