Here’s Your Missing Story About the Galleria Barnes and Noble

“Dear Swamplot, Have I missed the story or has anyone else noticed that Barnes & Noble across from Galleria has closed and is being gutted?” Signs were posted at the Centre at Post Oak Shopping Center store as far back as September; the bookstore’s lease came up at the end of the year. Last we heard, Weingarten was still looking for a replacement.

Photo: Aaron Carpenter

29 Comment

  • Odd, I used to go there a lot when I lived OTL.

  • Amazon and Kindle have for the most part turned bookstores into things of the past.

    Who needs to drive to a bookstore to buy a book when you buy it for less on Amazon?

    And why wait for the book to be delivered when you can just buy it and download it?

    It’s very green to just download it. Helps save a recycled tree.

  • To me this is very confusing, they close this store where there is more traffic and people shopping. They build a new store in the river oaks shopping center where less people shop. How long before the River Oaks store has to close..??

  • Matt,

    There will always be a market for those of us that like the physical aspects of owning a book, especially old books that have such distinct smells and textures. Much like people say that vinyl records have a warmer feeling than digital ones, physical books have something that their digital brethren can’t copy. I might eventually get a Kindle or Nook or something equivalent, but I’ll also keep buying the bound ones.

  • Maybe the galleria location got a lot of traffic, but few (or not high enough) sales…I can also imagine that rent in that area would be more than most locations in the city.

  • Seems like every time I go to a bookstore I’m usually walking over people reading books on the floor in the aisles. It’s a bookstore, people, not a library! Buy the book!
    I don’t think the e-readers are as green as some people think. There’s lots of electricity involved in that. I’ll never give up on paper books.

  • Every e-reader owner I know still buys real books. My personal qualm is the limits on sharing. They have us where they want us. Less sharing means more buying.
    How how long before libraries close because nobody publishes anything? And are y’all totally comfortable with there being an electronic record every time you access reading material?
    Makes me want to download Farenheit 451.

    Better yet, go check out Kaboom Books – two locations in The Heights to serve you, though I hear the one next to Antidote Coffee on Studemont is closing due to landlord issues.
    See – this post DID eventually get back to real estate. Sort of.

  • I like to look at a book before I buy it. And if I buy a book I put it on a shelf so that I can use it over and over. Thus the e-book thing is not good for me.

    If I just want to read a book and then forget about it, I guess that the e-book will work just fine, but I prefer to use the library for that. I can order whatever book a want from them for free. Read it and then take it back. No batteries and no download fees.

  • The reason why Barnes and Noble went out of business on Westheimer @ Post Oak is because Borders bought out Barnes and Noble and there is a Borders across the street.

  • Borders and Barnes and Noble have not merged, although there has been talk. After the success of the Nook, I’m guessing it’s less likely.

  • That’s incorrect information that Borders buying B&N.

    Borders was thinking about buying out B&N in December, but that deal fell through.

    Borders is now on the verge of bankruptcy and getting mopped all over the floor, primarily by B&N’s exposure to e-books (Nook).

  • This is Karma biting Barnes and Noble on the butt for closing BookStop and opening that albatross in River Oaks center.

  • The vast majority of books I turn to most often: reference works about autos, military history, architecture, and the like are frequently not available on Kindle and are also not appropriately viewed at Kindle sizes. Reference and out-of-print works are also why e-books won’t replace libraries.

    Just as when CD’s “replaced” LP’s as the music delivery format of choice, there is a LOT of worthwhile material that was either late to transition, or never did.

  • Matt, anyone with small kids would know that the idea that Amazon can replace either bookstores for buying books or toy stores for buying toys is pretty laughable. There will always be a market for actual stores. My gripe with that B&N was always that they tried to squeeze too much into too small a space and the parking was awful … both things that are dramatically better at the W Gray store.

  • in a short time, almost everything will be digital (heard about google’s massive book scanning project?) and the reality is that books will eventually become a niche item like records are today and only be handled through small shops.

    poeple don’t have as much time to read so reading levels are continually dropping leaving a smaller customer base and the internet is still tax-free (which is simply mind-boggling at this point in time) so the profit margins just aren’t there to keep pace with the internet retailers.

  • I love the West Gray B&N!!! Viva la train table!

  • I don’t think anyone really believes that all book stores will be gone anytime soon but Kindle, Nook and Amazon are certainly going to reduce their numbers enormously. I got a Nook Color at Christmas and I don’t see myself ever setting foot in a book store again. If it’s not available on Nook I probably just won’t read it.

  • I’m not sure that is what Thoreau had in mind when he said, “Simplify, simplify.”

  • Guess jgriff won’t be reading the _Phaidon Atlas of 21st Century World Architecture_ anytime soon.

  • Have those of you who say you’ll always buy paper books actually tried a Nook or Kindle? They’re sooooo much better and easier to use than a real book.
    Get used to it. Book stores finished. Paper books are going away just like typewriters and cassette tapes. And, as it appears, CDs.

  • I have both a bicycle and a car.
    I have both a stove and a barbeque grill.
    I have both a record player and an iPod.
    I have both a vacuum cleaner and a broom.
    I have both a computer and paper and pens.
    I have photos my Dad took 80 years ago and a book printed in 1884.
    Where will your digital images or your downloaded books be in 2111?

  • I read both a Kindle and printed books.

    I create both printed and online publications.

    Both will survive, though one will always be more popular than the other at any given time…and all depending on the subject matter.

    And that popularity can switch places in a heartbeat. Look at the resurgence of vinyl records. All it takes is a hipster, his or her rabid followers and the media to turn the tables on anything old or new.

    And Kaboom Books ROCKS!

  • I have a friend who loves his Kindle for travel and reading in bed. He’s absolutely crazy about it, and yes, it’s a beautiful piece of tech. It’ll replace a lot of mass-market books for him.

    But every time I research a book I’m interested in, Amazon says “Tell the publisher you want to read this book on Kindle.” Every time. Besides, most of the time, if I drop a book I don’t have to worry about breaking a multi-hundred dollar piece of gear. Unless it’s the two-foot-tall, five-foot thick _Phaidon Atlas of 21st Century World Architecture._! ;-)

  • Typing while distracted. The Phaidon Atlas, while the biggest tome I have ever seen, is only five INCHES thick, not five feet thick.

  • Right ricemilitaryboy, but, few are thinking about being Green.
    In the quiet days following a giant hurricane, I like to settle down with a good paged & bound, paper book: No power but plenty of time.

  • Have you tried to read a color Nook on the beach? Even if you seal up all the connectors against the sand, it’s still unreadable in the bright sunlight. Black&white e-paper works fine, though and actual cheap paperback can be destroyed and you won’t care.

    I’ll never buy an eBook that I’d want to keep if it’s DRM-locked to some bookstore. What are you going to do when Amazon starts charging a monthly maintenance fee for backup storage of your books? Or even worse, goes out of business and all Kindles become inert bricks? Don’t laugh, nobody believed that the Sears Catalog, the Amazon of its day, would ever stop being produced, either.

  • If the Nook goes away someday and I lose all the books I’ve bought on it I’ll just buy them again if I want to read them. That’s what I did with CDs. I threw them all away rather than rip them. I’ll just download them when I want them again. I’ve got better things to do than sit at a computer for hours on end ripping CDs. I live in a very small house. I don’t have room to keep books anyway. The extra space I gain from not having to store books is worth the risk that I could lose them someday. I very rarely read books twice anyway. The technical books I buy usually go out of date and wind up being taken to half price books. I get around 2 cents a pound for them. Now I need to get my wife to throw out the boxes of books she has stored. We moved into our house 7 years ago and they’ve not been opened once.

  • I hate all Barnes and Nobles, they killed off my book stops.. :(

    Good riddance.

  • I worked here for years and left a couple of months before it closed. The Weingarten’s refused to renew our lease. End of story.