There is a Barnes & Noble superstore six or seven miles from my house. It’s right next to the Cheesecake Factory, so we visit it often. We visited it tonight, and I was absolutely appalled to see that the Civil War section has now shrunk to two shelves, or about 35 titles. That’s it. What was there was an odd mix of new books, like Jeff Wert’s bio of Jeb Stuart and Benson Bobrick’s new bio of George H. Thomas, and older books, including some Bruce Catton stuff. With only about 35 titles to choose from, the selection was obviously extremely limited.
I understand that it’s a business, and I likewise understand that they’re going to carry what sells, but the Civil War section of this store gets smaller and smaller every time I go in there. With the sesquicentennial of the war coming up in 18 months, I’m just horrified that (a) Barnes & Noble devotes absolutely no shelf space to the Civil War and (b) that my fellow Ohioans are so apathetic about history that there’s not enough demand for Civil War books at that humungous store to warrant more than 35 titles in stock.
By comparison, there were about 35 poorly written idiotic vampire titles aimed at tween and teenage girls who think that sort of thing is neat and romantic. To me, that speaks volumes about where our priorities are as a society.
I’m appalled by this, and I have no idea what can be done to get Barnes & Noble to increase their selection of Civil War titles, but if there is anything that can be done, I will gladly do it. Rob Wick, if you read this and have any suggestions, please pass them along, because I’m absolutely horrified by what I saw tonight.Scridb filter