Waiting at Barnes and Noble

So, I went out and bought the last Harry Potter book tonight. I haven’t opened it yet, but I assure you, once this blog entry is posted my nose will be in the book. I got it from Barnes and Noble in Appleton. I got there at 23:45 (11:45 pm) to see a full parking lot. So, I parked in an empty one across the street, hoping to avoid the crowd rushing out of the parking lot once I had gotten the book. This proved to be unnecessary. The wait for the book took me until 0:50, and by then the parking lot was not so crowded. When I first arrived, there was of course a line:

But what you see in this blurry photo is not a line for the book, but simply a line to get yellow wristbands to certify that the bearer had indeed reserved a copy. There were also blue wristbands for those who wanted one but had not reserved one. As I waited in line, midnight came and there were cheers heard and the first customer came out triumphantly to flaunt his book. This was the best picture I could get of him:

Of course, one of the first things he did after raising it in the air and taking a picture with his mother was to open the book to the back in order to spoil the ending for himself. After a while, I finally got my wristband and went into the store:

Barnes and Noble did not do a good job organizing the mass purchase. When I went in, it was not clear where to go. They had set up a path for the line to follow, but if one didn’t know where the end of the line was, this was pretty pointless. I settled in to part of the mass that I figured represented a nebulous end of the line. Here is what it looked like from this vantage:

This part of the crowd didn’t start moving for about twenty minutes, though we got some glimpses of others moving. The line was a zigzag through the bookshelves, which of course allowed convenient access to books that the store would actually be making money on. For members (which includes me), the store had docked the list price to $18.89, which is $19.83 after tax. For non-member, the price was $20.99 or %22.04 after tax. This was advertised by a large sign above the checkout counter:

The books were taken from the boxes and pre-bagged at the checkout counter. Here is a picture I got of some of the empty boxes:

In the end I walked out with my book and drove home. I will now begin to read it and once I finish, I will post a review on this site.


About Meng Bomin

Real name Benjamin Main, I am a graduate of Grinnell College with a degree in Biological Chemistry.
This entry was posted in Current events, General, Personal. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Waiting at Barnes and Noble

  1. Farnsworth says:

    kind of a lame post you should have put more detail in it. Not just dumb facts that i already know.

    i could have told you last week that.
    1. lines would be long.
    2. parking lots would be full.
    3. lines would move slow.
    4. B&N would not have every thing set up correctly.
    5. B&N would make people look at every book in the store to get the one they wanted. ( good marketing at least )

    did you talk to any one?
    what was the mood like?
    what was the average age of the person waiting?
    did people get rude?
    did any one dress up?
    did the people with the blue bands get book?
    was the torrent correct or not about the chapter names?
    ( i never DL it because i would rather wait )
    how well was the place staffed?

    how long was your total wait?

    you know stuff i did not know!

  2. Ben says:

    Fair enough. I can see that I should have gone further than I did…though I was in a bit of a hurry to get the post out so I could read the book.

    As for your questions:

    did you talk to any one?
    I talked to relatively few people. I said hello to a co-worker who was further ahead in line and made a comment about an unrelated book that was being discussed nearby. Other than that, no.

    what was the mood like?
    At first there was a lot of excitement inside the store (before I got in), but by the time I tried to find the line, I guess the best way to describe it would be mild boredom.

    what was the average age of the person waiting?
    Most were adults in their twenties or thirties. There were a few kids, but not many.

    did people get rude?
    No one that I saw. It was pretty mundane line-waiting.

    did any one dress up?
    There were a kids of ages 6-8 who were in full costume, but for the most part, people were in normal clothing, as you can see from some of the pictures.

    did the people with the blue bands get book?
    I believe they did, though I wasn’t there when their turn in line came. Basically, it simply meant that they had to wait longer in line.

    was the torrent correct or not about the chapter names?
    Don’t know…I wasn’t really looking to spoil anything for myself before reading the book, so I didn’t search the torrents for chapter lists.

    how well was the place staffed?
    Not particularly well. This, I feel, was largely responsible for the confusion. There were a few at the entrance allocating wristbands, there were the cashiers, and a few traffickers near the checkout, but no one telling us where to go, where the line was or anything. Basically, the line was held together by the good will of the customers, the majority of whom patiently waited their turn.

  3. Pingback: My first 30 days on WordPress « Meng Bomin

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