Barnes & Noble In-Store Shopping is On the Rise



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Welcome to Today in Books, where we report on literary headlines at the intersection of politics, culture, media, and more.

People Will Come, Ray.

Market intelligence firm Placer.ai has released a new report that shows foot traffic in Barnes & Noble stores is on the rise. With the exception of this January (which saw a cold snap that the report notes”weighed on retailers nationwide”), in-store shopping increased every month since last November, hitting its highest point so far with year-over-year growth of 11.1% in May. This aligns with the recent trend of YOY increases in print book sales and is a strong indication that Barnes & Noble CEO James Daunt’s unconventional strategies are paying off. May their efforts continue to succeed—any ballast against the Big A is a net good for books and readers.

Speaking of Brick-and-Mortar Retail…

Amazon, which is now the biggest retailer of clothing and shoes in the U.S., may be planning to open several large, department store-style locations across the country. I say “may” because, while the Wall Street Journal quotes people who are familiar with the plans, Amazon officials have dismissed the report as speculation.

What does this mean for books? Probably not much, given that Amazon’s brick-and-mortar bookstores, well, bricked it, but it’s interesting to see the online retail giant continue to search for a foothold in IRL shopping.

A Sally Rooney Sneak Peek

Sally Rooney’s next novel, Intermezzo, is about two brothers grieving the death of their father. They don’t have much in common, except that the loss has upended them both. In the days after, they experience “a new interlude—a period of desire, despair, and possibility; a chance to find out how much one life might hold inside itself without breaking.”

If that sounds like it’s up your alley, you’ll probably want to check out this long excerpt at The New Yorker and put a red circle around September 24th on your calendar.

Sleep With All the Lights On

The news is enough of a horror show for me, but if you like getting your blood pressure up on purpose, here are some scary-good new horror books.

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