Has anyone else noticed this yet since the start of the new year? Last month I went to B&N on my first free day after the release of Allegiance in Exile
. I went right to the MMPB shelves for new sci-fi releases. I first noticed there weren't as many shelves devoted to new releases.
Then I noticed that Allegiance in Exile
was nowhere to be found. Not in new releases or the actual Trek shelf (singular). I go to the computer and it tells me "out of stock." This was only two days after its release. I ask an employee and I'm told the book was on order "only."
Finding that very bizarre, I drive to another B&N and find the lone copy available.
Fast forward to yesterday, I go to the first B&N again, this time to get Devil's Bargain
. Not there. It took talking to two employees to get any idea of what was going on. I'm told that they are now just getting one copy of a new Trek book. If that sells, another will be ordered. If that sells, maybe another two will be ordered. And so on. Looks to be the same at the second B&N location, which I visited today.
The implication being that people are simply not buying the books
At least certainly not in the amount that they used to order, which appeared to be only about four or five per month anyway. While the one seemingly knowledgeable employee told me they rip covers off the books that don't sell, I'm a bit at a loss to explain how the shelves at the local B&Ns still have ample amounts of the Destiny trilogy, Vanguard and Titan. Both stores have regularly had early Titan like The Red King
I'm not sure if these are re-orders of popular titles or if they're simply just sitting there year after year. Yet other more recent titles appear to have come and gone. I can only assume that those titles are indeed new copies of older books.
Anyway, just real disheartening. I can't just walk into a bookstore and get the book I want anymore. And if I have to start ordering beforehand, I may as well go the Amazon route instead. In which case B&N is just screwing themselves out of another customer.
Yet I'd rather have a choice of which physical book to buy. It's admittedly a bit of an OCD thing, but I want the book that is in the most pristine condition. Some have dings and others have cuts from when they slice open the boxes.
I'm going to see if I can talk to the store manager and convince him/her to up the order to at least two or three a month. Five may be too much for them, but one is just ridiculous
. However, I doubt I'll have much success. If the second store is the same way, I'm figuring this is a national move? I did not think local franchisees owned these stores.
So anyone else encounter this yet or is this just around me? Or is it that my local stores are just now starting to do what others have already been doing?
Edit: By the way, I was thinking of doing my annual "State of Trek Literature" thread again this year if there's any interest.