It’s the six year anniversary of the blog that I did paying homage to the B & M (Bricks & Mortar) of B & N (Barnes & Noble), titled Barnes and Noble and Me. I’m quite pleased that thanks in part to my loyal patronage, B & N still exists as a port of call. I wrote last week about the location in the Desert Ridge Marketplace in Phoenix (a short hop on the 101 West from the Scottsdale Villa Mirage), but in passing and in the context of a Tim Tebow signing which really didn’t do the store justice. Now that our month long stay is coming to an end, the store merits at least a few more words and pictures.
I pull in each morning in time for the opening at 9AM, the marketplace relatively quiet and bathed in luxurious sunlight. There’s a calm that comes over me entering the store’s doors, and it’s the same kind of feeling that washes cares away when one enters a spa. Perhaps it’s the aroma of the cafe; or the familiar scent of freshly minted book pages; or the relaxing music. I’ll browse, and before long a bookseller will pass by and ask if I would like any help in finding something. I rarely do, because my style is to browse and let books of potential interest take me where they may. If skimming captures my eyes, the book travels with me until I have a few (books, that is) and am ready to nestle in the ample cafe seating with a cup of half decaf spiked with honey and sprinkled with cinnamon.
The staff at this location is amazing, knowledgable, polite, and above all – caring. The cafe can be populated at times by tables of business people, studious students, or transient visitors like me. And I can add that not once each time that I was there (at least 18 days of the past 30) did I leave without a book in hand. Check that – I really don’t feel like a transient. After discovering this location once the Kierland Commons branch in Scottsdale closed a couple of years ago, I consider this my Fall home-away-from-home.
We started packing up today, and shipped the books that I finished back home – the rest will keep me company in my carry-on. I could have ordered all of them easily on line through bn.com, but I’d rather support the store that provides me the privilege of luxuriating with the book before I decide that I want it to accompany me. I plan on being back next fall, and I sure hope the Desert Ridge location is still going strong. Of all the many B & N locations I’ve frequented, I can now say this is my favorite.