Tuesday, March 1, 2011

This is a bookstore, not a library!

Yesterday I ventured into the Barnes & Nobles at the Prudential Center before our class at Isis. For those of you that aren't from Boston, the Prudential Center is the premiere indoor shopping area in downtown Boston. And the B&N is one of only 2 in the entire downtown area, so needless to say it is a busy store.

We went directly back to the children's section of the store to look for some new books to read at bedtime. Little did I know I was in for a shock...

The first book I picked up was about learning your colors. I kneel down next to the stroller and show M the book, and on the first page there is a stain. Not sure what it was, but there was something sticky on it, so I immediately put it back. I pick up a book about learning to count...the first page is torn. I think to myself, what the hell is going on here?

I look to my right and see this little stage area, and on the stage are 4-5 moms with their little rugrats next to them. Each of the moms are reading books from the shelves to their kids as if it was a library! The kids are smacking the books, knocking them out of their moms hands, and throwing them all around. Is this kosher? What the hell is happening here?

I then go closer to the stage area and see a pile of broken down, beat up books that kids are kicking around. I hear a mother say to her 2 year old son "go over there and pick out another one to read on the shelf." WHAT? I got so mad that I almost said, "where do you think you are lady? This is not the BPL!"

There were strollers parked all along where the board books were, so I asked out loud if I could move one to actually SEE the books that were for SALE in the BOOKSTORE. Little did I know that the stroller I was pushing contained a teeny tiny baby that was not being paid attention to in the least. But I digress...

Every single book we picked up was bent, busted, torn, stained, sticky, dented or even wet - that is right, one was wet. I was horrified. I was going to say something to someone working there, but i couldn't even find a staff member. I am assuming they are just turning a blind eye to this chaos.

Why do these moms/nannies/kids have to ruin this experience for every other mom/nanny/kid? M & I love to go to the bookstore and buy books, but I will never go back to the B&N at the Pru again to buy kids books. I know it has been cold and miserable in Boston, but come on ladies, be a little more creative than going to the bookstore and wreaking havoc.

I have said all I have to say.


  1. I admit, I spend about two thirds of my week inside the Pru/Copley Place when the weather sucks. It's nearby, it's got elevators, there are nice hotel bathrooms, high chairs in the food court, and a total of 4 starbucks. So I'm often at that Barns & Noble as it has two of those starbucks plus that stage area for some out of stroller time. I'm glad it's there. HOWEVER I totally agree with you! There is this group of 5 nannies that I see there whenever I happen to be there from about 2pm to 4pm. Usually it's the 5 nannies with 8 kids between them, and at least two of those kids are totally being ignored at any given moment.

    Today I was there and this little boy crawled up to myself and a friend, started climbing up the stage, and trying to climb up on the chairs. We looked around, asked nannies near us if this was their kid, he wasn't. We kept a hold of him as he started to just crawl off the steps and towards the exit and one nanny then pointed to another nanny with a kid already on her lap and said he was hers. Uhhhh. So who's watching this kid? Then I see a nanny tossing TRASH into the bin of books marked for kids to play with. And shortly after that another one of the five started scolding another little girl (maybe 3 years old?) for making sour faces when the nanny told her it was time to use the bathroom in a way that I would never want any one speaking to my child. It made my skin crawl.

    I find everyone who works for that Barns & Noble to be super nice people. I wish they would take some time every once and so often - when they hear the noise level of that corner rise - and go over there to do a little supervision of their merchandise and remind their 'customers' that only books with the yellow dots are for playing with and that any other merchandise damaged needs to be purchased. Sure that may make some people feel unwelcome, but that just may be a good thing - and it would be good for their sales in the long run.