There’s Something About Barnes & Noble
When I started my On The Road series, I told myself to stick to writing about bookstores, cafes, and hangouts that are underrated, exceptionally special to me, and on my non-physical bookish bucket list. From the title of this blog post, you are probably thinking, “way to veer off track,” and you’re right, sort of. The reason I’m making an exception for this Barnes & Noble is because it’s the only B&N in Maine (even our neighbor New Hampshire has four), so trips there are a little more exciting than if there were more locations in the state (I tell myself).
With that said, I’m not going to go into details of the physical layout of the store (as in my other On The Road posts), because in comparison to the few others I’ve visited, it’s pretty standard. There’s an okay Maine books and authors section, and in recent years the toys and collectibles have claimed a pretty good amount of real estate among the books and games.
After quickly perusing the New Release tables and Adult Fiction shelves, I spend the rest/the majority of my time among the sale shelves. Unless I’m planning on giving a new book as a gift or REALLY need to have a New Release, I go to Barnes & Noble for the sales. 2 for $10 B&N Classics anyone? #notsponsored
The Classics (of which I have 14 at the time of this writing) and Collectible editions are really what make [any] Barnes & Noble more than just a big-box bookstore. I mean, have you seen these beauties? The hardcover versions and embossed editions are priced, appropriately, so, for me, anyway, these fall more under the category of “special occasion book purchases.” However, I think it’s great that they are in the business of these mass market beautiful editions – editions that are exceptional but also easy to attain (in a store or online).
What I love about this Barnes & Noble, besides the books, are the people who work there. During my countless visits, the employees have always been helpful, friendly, and seem to be there for more than just a paycheck. Also, its location in the Marketplace at Augusta* is P.R.I.M.E. In the approximately half a mile long stretch of just about every chain-business in existence (restaurant and shopping), B&N is on the very outskirts. Go through all the green lights after getting off the interstate, turn up a residential road, take a left, and there it is on the right. You don’t have to weave in and out of Marketplace traffic which is always insane.
I realize that the bookish parts of this post are pretty general in relation to Barnes & Noble, and the “boring” part (traffic) is more specific to my Maine location. But since I make frequent trips here (because of its proximity to the interstate) and because of my love for their special editions, my growing list of Maine bookstores would be empty without it. Plus, I never got the chance to blog about and rave about Borders® when it was here, so before B&N goes away (which will hopefully never happen), I’m expressing my love for it – which is a good mantra to apply to everything, by the way.
There, now this is a philosophical post.
*Seriously. Not the Augusta Marketplace, the [cue a posh, condescending voice] Marketplace at Augusta.
Barnes & Noble
9 Market Place Drive