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Barnes and Noble Booksellers: A Mini Vacation for Readers

Updated on May 31, 2013
Barnes and Noble Booksellers in Smithfield, Rhode Island
Barnes and Noble Booksellers in Smithfield, Rhode Island | Source

I had a free hour in a town that was new to me in Rhode Island. Never having been in this town before, I was thrilled to see a Barnes and Noble Booksellers store. There are no Barnes and Noble Bookseller stores within an hour of my home in Connecticut, so to unexpectedly find one when I had extra time on my hands was a huge treat. Pulling into the parking lot, I grew excited about the possibility of being able to sit and relax for one whole hour. Leaving my phone in the car would ensure that I had no interruptions. That hour I spent was one of the most enjoyable hours I had spent in a store of any kind. And after I left, I realized why. It felt as though I was able to leave my cares behind me and enter into a world of knowledge and information in a place that offered comfortable seating, refreshments, a quiet place to concentrate, and more books and magazines of interest to me than I could ever possibly get through in a day, never mind an hour. What a wonderful experience this store offers. A chance to peruse and read as many books and magazines as you want, without even purchasing any. Here's a "vacation" of sorts that won't even need to cost you any money, unless you choose to spend it on a book or maybe a cup of coffee at the in-store Starbucks.

When I first arrived, I searched for the best place to relax. There were hard wooden chairs with curved backs, and soft chairs with cushions. There were chairs in quiet corners and others right out in the middle of all the action. I chose a quiet area with four chairs with only one other reader, drinking from his cup of Starbucks coffee. From there I went to all of my favorite sections to gather a few books from which to glean as much information as I could in one short hour. I first perused the business section. Then the self help section. And finally the travel section. Finding a few books, I brought them back to my comfortably cushioned chair and spent the next thirty minutes in my own little world of reading and gathering knowledge. I took mental notes of authors and websites I wanted to research on the internet when I had free time at home. And then I went to the magazine section. There were magazines there I haven't seen in years because my choice of magazines lately has been limited to what can be displayed in racks near the check out stands at my local supermarkets, and a somewhat larger selection at the local Walmart. At Barnes and Noble I found six racks of magazines covering enough subjects I was interested in to make my head spin. I wondered where to even start. There were magazines on creating beautiful scrap books, on decorating a home, on women's concerns and also those on my favorite two topics as of late: home businesses and earning money as a writer. Because time was short, I decided on four, mostly on writing but one on having a home business. The second half hour of my mini vacation flew by and before I knew it, it was time to leave for an appointment. Before leaving though, I decided to treat myself to a few of the magazines that would help kick start a writing career, and help me to extend my mini vacation over the next few weeks. They will come home with me as souvenirs from my mini vacation. Upon purchasing my magazines, I left the store feeling refreshed and energized. Each time I pick one of those magazines up to read over the next few weeks, I will remember that wonderful feeling of having an hour to myself to relax, read and learn. Taking that hour at Barnes and Noble provided me with hope, dreams and information for a bright future in a field I have dreamed of working in since childhood.That hour recharged me to face the rest of my day with a smile on my face and hope in my heart for my future career in the writing world.

I highly recommend a mini vacation at a Barnes and Noble Booksellers store for any reader, writer or dreamer! If you're anything like me, you will leave with a smile on your face, and no less money in your pocket than when you entered the store. Unless you choose, as I did, to bring a souvenir or two home with you to remember your time there, and continue to refresh your mind and spirit.

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    • Pennypines profile image

      Lucille Apcar 4 years ago from Mariposa, California, U.S.A.

      Unfortunately, while I do not like to run down big business, Barnes & Noble and behemoths like them have obviously caused the demise of all the little bookstores that used to be scattered in every town. We have none today in my small town where there were two before. Our only reading room now is our Public Library. The bookstores used to hold book-signings and lectures as well. So while I acknowledge progress has its merits, I still miss the little stores where you could go and browse.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I do like Barnes & Noble, but I much prefer three independent bookstores we have in town. They are small, cozy, and they carry my novel. LOL

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      billybuc,

      Well, carrying your book is a definite reason to like them. But do they have comfy chairs and let browsers sit and read books all day? Do they offer coffee? I hope your books are big sellers!

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Pennypines,

      Reminds me of the movie, 'You've Got Mail." I do understand what youa re saying, but small bookstores are not usually comfy places that offer chairs and free browsing. In my area, the only place that does that is the library. We have a second hand bookstore in the area that is privately run, and has chairs, etc. and free coffee. I love it there. All the smaller stores that I have ever seen only offer books, so sorry, I do like Barnes and Noble better than most independent bookstores I have seen.

    • wetnosedogs profile image

      wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

      Glad to hear you enjoyed your mini vacation and went home with valuable information. Maybe it was like being on a cruise! LOL.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      wetnosedogs,

      Ha ha...not hardly. But it was truly an escape from the outside world for an hour. I forgot what day it was and all my plans for the rest of the day, and just immersed myself in reading!

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Thanks for sharing this interesting hub and giving me a wonderful tour of Barnes and Noble. In my world here on the other side of the ocean we have no Barnes and Noble. We do have bookstores similar to them but there are really no private and quiet places to read. Only one store has considered this and when you go there you can pick up some books, walk into the coffee shop on the second floor, drink your coffee and read through the books. Passing this on.

    • europewalker profile image

      europewalker 4 years ago

      I spend time at Barnes and Noble at east once a week. I grab a coffee and sit for a while. I love the atmosphere and and find it very relaxing. Plus I can take my time to select a book that I will be purchasing.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      europewalker,

      Ah, a kindred spirit. Isn't it great? I can't believe that they allow people to just "borrow" books off the shelves and read them, but apparently it's working for them and I love the break it gives me from the outside world. Thanks for commenting.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Gypsy Rose Lee,

      Sounds like that bookstore has the right idea, even if it's not officially a Barnes and Noble. Thanks for reading and commenting. I hope you enjoy your time there as much as I do at B & N!

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Karen, I do believe you've found your literary oasis! Too bad the closest one in Connecticut is over an hour's drive away. Same situation here...I have to go to the Tri-Cities. One of the few things I miss about living in the Seattle area. But another way to look at it is that it keeps the experience fresh and invigorating when I am able to indulge in it.

      Good for you for making the investment in the magazines you purchased. Motivation as well as information in a hard copy. Can't go bad with that combination.

      Have a great day, and thanks for sharing a very interesting and informative piece here!

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      hawaiianodysseus,

      Thanks for commenting. I may have found my literary oasis at Barnes and Noble, but yesterday I found my writing oasis at Panera Bread!!! Similar to your hub about renting office space at Starbucks(?), I think it was Starbucks anyway, I had a blast writing at Panera Bread for an hour and a half, and only paid $2.09 in rent ( coffee!) We are kindred spirits my friend!

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Oh, Panera Bread has free wifi service, too? Awesome! Only problem is, there's none around here. 100 wineries and no Panera Bread? Something's wrong with that picture! I can see you writing away at that place. How far is it from home? Just curious...because that'd be a great hangout if it's close enough. Good for you! Way to scope these places out! Why not take a picture of something purchased there and write a hub about the entire experience? Just before you go to publish the hub, and it has to be written on site, of course, for dramatic effect...take a picture of your laptop, close enough where we can see your HP profile picture and the title of your freshly published hub, and use it for your lead-in photo! Awesome idea!

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Hawaiianodysseus,

      You read my mind. I was actually thinking of writing a hub like that, although not with a picture on my computer of the hub,but not bad, not bad! The closest Panera Bread to me is about 20 minutes away. Not too bad. I have often watched people do their work online there and have been so envious. Yesterday it was my turn to live the dream!:0) There may be a hub yet to come but since I didn't take any pictures yesterday, I will have to go back and restage it...complete with writing again! Sounds great to me though!

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      When I visit the States I often go to Barnes and Noble because I find it relaxing and enjoyable. In Canada we have the same type of large bookstore called Chapters/Indigo. It is one of my favorite book stores. Thanks for posting,

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      rose-the-planner,

      Thanks for commenting. And the next time I go to Canada, I will know to look for Chapters/Indigo. Thanks for adding that information!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Karen, I love Barnes and Noble! I haven't been to one much in the past few months, because even though there's apparently one in Boston, it isn't in a part I'm familiar with. But when I lived in CT (Manchester), my boyfriend and I went there quite often. Our part of CT has quite a few of them. Our favorite is in Glastonbury, although the one at Buckland Hills Mall is also great. We like to browse magazines and books, and have a coffee. Sometimes we would even indulge in a little dessert. It was relaxing, whether we picked out a table or the coveted comfy chairs scattered about.

      I love having a huge selection of magazines to browse through! I find it satisfying and motivating. I'm glad you found ones that would be helpful to you, and inspire you.

      This is a very good article on going on a mini vacation. I feel the same way as you do!

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      One of the highlights of my life was when a new Barnes and Noble book store moved in to the region. I have experienced glorious rainy afternoons getting lost in the aisles and aisles of reading, curling up in the homey atmospheres and whittling the hours away.

      Great write

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      shiningirisheyes,

      Ohhh, you just gave me a great idea on how to spend my next rainy afternoon when I have some time to myself. Thank you! It will even be worth the 45 minute drive for me...although I am sure I will have to combine it with something else to make it worthwhile gas wise. Hmmm, maybe a restaurant review of somewhere nearby for a new hub would do!

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Kathryn Stratford,

      That one in Glastonbury is the one that I usually go to. Although it's 45 minutes away I go there a few times per year on my way to Hartford. Have you ever been to J.Gilbert's ( a restaurant) which is in the same parking lot? It's where my husband and I went on our first date. We had a wonderful time and it's one of our favorite restaurants now!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Ahhh, that is too funny! J Gilbert's is where Andy and I went on our second date. It was our first big date, because the first actual date was the first time we met in person (I met him online). I have been with him for close to 4 years now. I still remember what I had- a Lobster Ravioli.

      The Glastonbury one is my favorite Barnes and Noble, and I love the area. All of the buildings are so pretty, and it's well landscaped. It's cool that it's the one you go to.

    • Learn Things Web profile image

      Learn Things Web 3 years ago from California

      I haven't gone to relax at a bookstore in the longest time. But I loved it before I had kids. I have to say, I've always found B&N stores to be the best. I've been to some great independent booksellers but they were never places to sit, relax and hang out for a while. Most didn't have seating of any kind and definitely not coffee. B&N is really the best bookseller in my experience.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 3 years ago from Georgia

      LearnThingsWeb,

      I agree. I feel bad for the smaller places but Barnes and Noble really knows how to serve customers well and give them a respite from the rest of the world!

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 3 years ago from Georgia

      Kathryn,

      Wow, what a small world and amazing that we have walked in each other's footsteps! I had scallops my first time at J.Gilberts!

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