Barnes & Noble Unfriendly to Plant Books

pinetree30(Sierra Westside)September 22, 2007

I visited the B&N store in Fair Oaks, CA today, to see what's new in plant books, specifically trees. There is no plant section, and there was only one putrid tree book in the Nature section. When I complained, I was directed to the Gardening section at the other end of the store, over by Home Improvements. Well, there were no plant books or tree books there either -- everything was strictly gardening and landscaping.

A manager told me that plant/tree books don't sell fast enough, so now if you order one they will get it from their warehouse, but they won't display it in the store.

As a writer of tree books, I think this sucks, and that B&N shows itself unworthy of their stranglehold over the book market. How long before other big book-box stores follow their lead? And publishers start saying no to plant books because the majors won't display them?

Time was when a bookseller was a person who loved books and had a passion to make them available to the public, whether they sat around for a while or not. Selling books was a calling; a public trust; an indispensable aid to the continuance of our civilization. But at least to this B&N store, it's just another way to make a buck, and to hell with the consequences.

Incidentally, in this store the Science section took up only one-fifth of the space devoted to Science Fiction; and one fourth of the space devoted to comic books.

If this is the future, to hell with it.

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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

You wrote:
"manager told me that plant/tree books don't sell fast enough"

Well, then -- why should they stock an item which will sit on the shelf?

Stores, of all kinds, make a profit when they sell what their customers want. Perhaps the customers in that area don't like/want trees.

Try a different store.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 1:26AM
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pinetree30(Sierra Westside)

I would never have thought that a supposed writer who claims to be interested in trees would be indifferent to the notion of tree and other plant books, as well as their readers, being treated as though they were so much crap. I guess it takes all kinds.Good luck with your writing, Jean. You can always sell your books out of the trunk of your car.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 11:41PM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

I haven't had any trouble finding books on trees in numerous B&N outlets, though some of the multivolume/comprehensive works on the subject are not always readily available. Most of my tree books have come from B&N, Borders or Half-Price Books.

Maybe the original poster's experience was a problem with a particular store or reflects local/regional stocking policy.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 11:35AM
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mightymatt1313

I have found B & N amenable and useful as a plant book resource. You can't expect a particular store to have as for example the NY Botanic garden bookstore does some 4,000 titles. As a national chain and an online store they have a broad array of books. Matt Cone author Zen of Watering Your Garden which I chose to have carried only by Amazon. Just beter exposure for me.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 11:49AM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Plus you can ask them to order almost any book you want.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 12:43AM
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katycopsey(Z7bGA)

It is sad that B&N require you order. I buy on wims in a bookstore which is not how I order online. My local ones have a decent garden section, if you consider that it has been a while since it spread more than 2 shelves. I do find though that local authors, particularly those few who get into the TV limelight are the majority of the pickings.Local is good, support of authors is good, but some variety is also good. I don't know when the last decent herb book came out - probably not for 5 or 6 yrs at best.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2007 at 10:16PM
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ellen_s(z5 centralMA)

I have not found this to be the case at Barnes & Noble in MA...in fact last time I was there, there were so many gardening books that I wished I could have stayed for hours browsing them..

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 5:12PM
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