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Failed Bookseller Whines to the Times


Tags Entrepreneurship

I thought bashing great chain bookstores like Barnes & Noble and Borders went out of style about ten years ago, yet here is the New York Times today with a piece lamenting the not-very-newsworthy death of a 26-year-old independent bookstore, Micawber Books in Princeton, New Jersey.

The piece struck me with the amount of space it devotes to the store's owner, Logan Fox, whining about how his store closing is everyone's fault but his own. First he blames television, then big-box stores, then the internet, then finally "the acceleration of our culture."

The real reason for his failure is revealed unintentionally further down: "[Mr. Fox] says he has only been inside a Barnes & Noble store three times. ('I can't do it,' he said, grimacing.)"

Perhaps if he had visited Barnes & Noble more often, he would have learned something about pleasing customers — which, of course, any entrepreneur must do if he doesn't want to have to shut his doors.

Jacob Huebert is a constitutional lawyer in Chicago and the author of Libertarianism Today, an introduction to libertarianism and the libertarian movement.

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