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Sunday, December 20, 2009

B. Dalton closing


A big reason why Laredo is losing its bookstore (post immediately below) is that the B. Dalton chain is closing.

B. Dalton is now part of Barnes and Noble (just as WaldenBooks is part of Borders) and the smaller format is being phased out.

But to me, when I went into my first B. Dalton at Northwest Plaza in St. Louis in the late 1960's, B. Dalton was the large format.  I can't recall any other bookstores being near us in the northwest suburbs. Any. For the most part, I got books at the library, where we went every few weeks.

If I wanted to buy a book, I'd check out the books available at Woolworth's, or I rode my bike over to the St. Louis airport and looked in the bookshops there.  Seriously -- the bookshops in the airport terminal were so much bigger than anyplace else I saw books that I had a hefty respect for the high level of intellect of the people who took frequent flights.

B. Dalton seemed to have an endless supply of books. Later, I would be similarly amazed at the amount of inventory carried by Borders (the first store, in Ann Arbor).

It didn't hurt that I spent college years working nights at Sears in Northwest Plaza. I'd get a 15 minute break that could be spent checking out the books (and the college girls working at) B. Dalton next door.

These days, I seldom go into bookstores since I'm usually looking for small-market books and Amazon and it's associates do so much better a job at that.