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Even Tom Hanks Couldn't Save the 66th Street Barnes & Noble

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Barnes & Noble's 66th Street sign being carted away on a truck
Barnes & Noble's 66th Street sign being carted away on a truck

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Maybe we should all be re-watching You've Got Mail. In a eulogy for the recently deceased Lincoln Center Barnes & Noble this weekend, the New York Post's Kyle Smith invoked the 1998 movie, in which Tom Hanks works for a major book chain that puts Meg Ryan's little independent bookstore out of business. They fall in love online, and she winds up working for him. Now, it's the Tom Hanks types whose businesses are in trouble, and online dating probably isn't going to save their careers. Writes Smith:

In the "You've Got Mail" era, there were five huge book/music stores between West 66th and West 86th streets. Now there's only one—the doomed B&N at 82nd and Broadway, where tumbleweeds roll across the gigantic second floor. You could leave cash in the dictionary aisle and it would be as safe as it is in the mattress.
Smith isn't particularly sad about the loss of the indie bookstores that came before B&N (he calls the Upper West Side's old Shakespeare and Co "a fusty little nest of disaffected graduate students with the highest snobbiness-to-income ratios ever seen") but he echoes the popular sentiment that when the city loses a bookstore, it loses part of its soul.
· Let's Have a Moment of Silence for Barnes & Noble Lincoln Center [Racked NY]
· Shelf life [New York Post]

Barnes & Noble

1972 Broadway, New York NY