In the Bridgehampton Commons, one of the nicest Barnes & Noble stores you have ever seen has just opened. It’s amazing to me how bookstores have come full circle. In my lifetime, I’ve watched bookstores get completely obliterated by the internet. People just stopped buying books; content online was easy to find and easy to get, and half of it was posted without the author’s consent. It was a free-for-all, nearly ruining the book and music business. But today, people pay for books, and online retailers have gotten greedy to the point where it makes perfect sense to get the hard copy of a book for basically the same price.
This means that you actually get to have a real-world experience again. You get to touch the book, feel it in your hands at the beach, develop that deep connection with the author and your bookstore, and simply enjoy reading again, you know, the old-fashioned way. These days, retailers that have buildings have to create experiences, not just offer a product, and Barnes & Noble in Bridgehampton totally delivers. It feels good to be there; there are chairs to sit in, you can browse the aisles in a quiet setting, and the staff there are book lovers and happy to help.
Aside from books, Barnes & Noble also offers cool games and puzzles that you can buy for kids and, of course, a variety of knick-knacks that make for excellent gifts. But what it’s really about, to me anyway, is the opportunity to shop without pressure, to enjoy the experience of being out, and of course, when something catches my eye, part happily with $20 for a nice little read.
The place is a must-go.