|The Nook is the star of the show now|
A little over a year ago I walked into a Barnes & Noble and noticed some subtle changes. Tonight we walked in and I’d say the re-invention is in full swing. If it wasn’t obvious before, it’s very clear now that the Nook has taken a central role in the company’s future, and has literally taken a central role in the brick and mortar store. The first thing you see when you walk in is a huge Nook store-within-store, right in the middle of everything. And that makes sense — one of the chief advantages that the Nook has over the Kindle is the brick and mortar presence where customers can check it out, play with it, and ask questions. The Nook really is the key to the future of the business.
For what it’s worth, I think there are other advantages to the Nook — mainly the ability to read all kinds of file types, including PDF, ePub, etc. From what I understand, the Kindle is more limited to files formatted for the Kindle (which is to say, those purchased from Amazon!) If I’m wrong, feel free to correct me.
|Bye bye music, hello toys and games|
There are other significant changes as well. When Barnes & Noble hit the scene in the 1990s, one of the cool things about it was the music center in the store. Well, seriously, when was the last time you bought a CD there? For that matter, when was the last time you bought an actual CD? Yep, it was inevitable and now it’s happened – the music area is gone. In it’s place is a “Toys & Games” area where you’ll find some stuff for kids to do (the Thomas train table and a Lego table the kids enjoyed). The toys and games you’ll find there are oriented towards educational purposes (i.e. there’s some kind of redeeming value to them, in theory anyway), which sets these apart from a lot of the Toys R Us stuff. I think it’s a great idea.
I really hope Barnes & Noble makes it in a rapidly changing industry. I love having it there as a place to hang out, thumb through books or magazines alone or with the kids, and now with the addition of more things for the kids to actually do, it’s a nice place to go hang out as a family. And yes, we actually bought a couple things.