BAYCHESTER, Bronx – To the disappointment of bookstore fans, the only Bronx Barnes and Noble will soon make way for a retail store.
The writing is on the wall, at least from outside the Barnes and Nobles at the Bay Plaza shopping center, where clearance signs and pushes to go online are on full display. The bookstore will close at the end of the year.
"It's everything here, we come here to eat, to hang out," a woman said outside the Barnes and Noble. "Spend time with family here."
In the city's least wealthiest borough and in poorest zip code east of the Mississippi, the store faced an uphill battle. There is no subway station in sight. The strip mall which sits along the I-95 isn't exactly located in the cross section of popular MTA bus routes.
For those able to make it, the trip is worth it.
"This is the first Barnes and Nobles where you can bring your kids," a mother said. "It's a good thing to have here."
David Deason, vice president of development at Barnes and Noble, said they did everything they could.
"We worked hard to extend our lease and had extensive discussions with the property owner in hopes of coming to an agreement," Deason said in a statement to PIX11. "..the property owner has decided to lease the space to another retailer who was willing to pay more."
There was a time where we collectively wept for the independent bookstore. Those mom-and-pop shops that were slowly but surely gobbled up by megastore retailers like Barnes and Noble and Amazon Books. While the looming closure of the Bronx's only Barnes and Noble is a loss for team page turner, it could just be evolutionary karma where readers are moving toward a digital age.