Sep 5, 2011

Magazine racks are just not what they used to be

Picture frame made with recycled magazines by colorstorydesigns
It's been raining here for days now. We've been getting drenched by Tropical Storm Lee. After 4 days of blustery winds and gusts that take your breath away, my son and I ventured out. We drove to town in search of anything to break the monotony.

After a so-so dinner at the chinese buffet, we went to the bookstore. No, not Barnes and Noble. They're my favorite with the best coffee and places to sit and read. Nope, we went to Books A Million. Sort of the B &N ugly sister. They do have books. Plenty of fiction paperbacks and kids books, but the windy aisles through tables filled to overflowing with the latest titles they're pushing (40% Off for Members!!), make me feel claustrophobic and uncomfortable. I just want to get the heck out of there.

My favorite section in the bookstore is the magazines. Not so this time. I think the management decided the back of the store was the place to put the extra tables of books they were pushing and all the other junk that they had no room for. No place to sit. Hot and muggy. Just not browse-worthy. And on top of that, they didn't have any of the art magazines I usually look for.

I've noticed Books A Million carries less and less art and craft magazines and more and more music, fashion, and techie titles. What's up with that? I guess people in this area don't like art? Not creative? Apparently they like knitting, since there were at least 10 mags on knitting. Same with papercrafting/scrapbooking. Some jewelry making titles (although that seems to be waning. I see much less of those lately). But, seriously; where are the art titles? Aside from Artist Magazine, and a couple of painting ones, there was not really much variety to choose from. I couldn't find my Clay Times, or Pottery Making Illustrated. Those have been gone for months now. I missed the wide variety of craft magazines that Barnes and Noble carries; the imports from the UK and Australia, and the weird indie magazines that I love.

After looking at what they are choosing to carry in my area, and making the connection to what people are doing in the way of crafts/handmade/art- I'd say the latest trends here are knitting and mixed media/ papercrafting. Quilting is super strong as well. Jewelry making had tons of magazines in the rack, and now there are just three being carried. My poor Clay Times, Art Doll Quarterly, Soft Doll Making seem to be casualties of the bookstore wars. Just not enough sales, I guess. It saddens me.

I picked up a couple of Moleskine sketchbooks (my favs!), and headed to checkout. No, I do not want to buy a membership where I could start saving right now. No, I do not want to give you my email address. No, I do not want to take advantage of that special offer of 3 months of free magazines. and YES, I would definitely like a bag. 

I hope magazines never go away. I love you, mags!  Books A Million, not so much.

UPDATE:  I went to the Books A Million store in Pensacola yesterday. Boy, what a difference! The store is 3 times bigger; many, many more magazines; and I found everything I could want. Plus, they swapped out a book Jared bought in the other store that had misprints- no questions asked. I was impressed. Now I just have to ask -what's going on with the other store? who knows- but I'm going to Pcola from now on for my magazine shopping!! Wheeeee!

1 comment:

  1. lol, I enjoyed the post and feel your bookstore pain. I used to work at Barnes and Noble and let me tell you... it'd be a half-decent place to work if they didn't require you to take it so seriously for the pitiful pay. My least favorite part was up-selling; it's basically when you take a happy customer and pester then about all the things the ownership tells you they should also buy. (And as far as I'm aware they still don't recycle!)