Since today is Release Day and we had some time on my hands, we stopped by Barnes & Noble to look for new releases, the two mentioned in my earlier post (Heart of Steel by Meljean Brook and the new Nora Roberts contemporary). And I left with…neither book.
Entering the store, the nook display has been displaced, as have the usual “new releases” shelves. The tables of trade paperbacks had been reduced to a single table. Going upstairs, the mystery and romance sections have been moved (to the back of the building) and reduced by more than half. Teen paranormal is now a a large section of its own. The biography and history section is much smaller, and there’s a huge games/puzzles/toy section right next to the YA shelves.
I was not impressed.
The Roberts’ book was out, but after reviewing the cover copy I felt ambivalent about the book and coming series. Renovating an inn in Boonsboro, Maryland? Like Roberts’ just did? Eh, that seems a little too close to reality and also potentially “see my cool town! sell my cool town!”. The Brook steampunk was, in theory, on the shelves or an end cap. But I couldn’t find it and neither could the salesperson handling the helpdesk: not in romance, SFF, not on the new release table or shelf, nowhere to be found. #lostbooksale
Here’s the thing: I went into the store looking to spend at least $30 on books. And I left with a single book, Jar City by Arnaldur Indridason, a mystery, instead of the books I was looking for. I want to support my local bricks and mortar store…but it doesn’t seem interested in what I’m looking for as a customer.
After B&N, we saw Anonymous, which was very interesting to someone without a great deal of knowledge of the period. I know enough to recognize the names and the political tensions, which fed the plot very well. And Rhys Ifans was excellent as Edward de Vere. I always associate him with flakier roles (the roommate in that Hugh Grant-Julia Roberts romcom, Xenophilius Lovegood, etc.) but he was terribly good at this dramatic role. Vanessa Redgrave was brilliant as usual.