Ten kinds of Barnes & Noble® customers: Read and laugh—or weep

By Chris Kubica

Maybe Barnes & Noble® can help me crack a mystery. Just who are its customers? I’m a software developer by day and author-editor by night, and as an an outsider, I’m baffled. Kids don’t hang out at malls anymore. Who buys CDs? Who reads all those magazines? Who buys paper greeting cards? Who shows up in person to buy hipster board games? Who goes to bookstores to buy tea kettles or beer steins?

I confess. I myself still visit the ghost-towny big-box store near me, usually with my kids, and sip a coffee-like drink at the B&N® café. But about the only people I see fall into the following categories—none of them book-buyers:

  • Category #1: The Never-Buy / The Showroomer
    Stacks of B&N® books on the table. No snacks or drinks from the cafe. Sitting there all day, reading and reading and reading, never purchasing a thing.
  • Category #2:…

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