Barnes and Noble Bookstore in Bethesda to Close

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Barnes & Noble bookstore in Bethesda, a community anchor, will close at the end of 2017, according to the company. This three-level location has served its purpose for nearly two decades, and has been a longtime symbol of Bethesda's highly-educated population. The closing of this bookstore is yet another page added to an already thick book of evidence that Bethesda is becoming too built up for the public to enjoy.

The store first opened in 1997 as a main component of the first phase of the Bethesda Row development, a destination for regional shopping and dining. Over the years, the store has hosted top-name authors, programs, and activities for kids and families.

“The lease at our Bethesda location will expire at the end of 2017, and the store will close then. We had discussions with the property owner in hopes of agreeing to an extension of the lease, but unfortunately, we were unable to come to an agreement," vice president David Deason said in a statement.

But never fret book lovers, because there are two very close Barnes and Noble bookstores near you, located just for your convenience, in Rockville, Maryland, and Arlington, Virginia. It’s only a 35 minute drive, depending on where you live, and not including traffic.

Recently, bookstores have been disappearing due to the rise in cost of living in D.C. and in the Bethesda region, such as the Barnes & Noble store in Georgetown, which closed in 2012, and the Books-A-Million store on Dupont Circle, which closed in 2015. There are small bookshops in the area, of course, but they supply a limited variety of literature for the public to read. It is no surprise that people are upset, considering that the only major bookstore with a large variety to read in this area has an expiration date.

“It makes me sad,” said Paloma Delgado, a sophomore student at B-CC. “this bookstore was a big part of my childhood, and it wouldn’t be the same without it.”

People are taking this closing bookstore as another example of how Bethesda is becoming more built up and unaffordable to the public, teenagers and adults alike. Since the Regal Cinemas in Bethesda closed up, many people are worried that these are signs that Bethesda is no longer the social hotspot it once was for catching up with friends or grabbing a bite to eat. Now, expensive designer stores line the cobblestone walkways of Bethesda Row, and fancy, overpriced restaurants are the only available options to enjoy a meal.

http://gty.im/103220819 We have all seen this coming. Stories about whether this bookstore would close has been going on for years now, and it was only a matter of time before the rumors came true. There is no information on what new business will replace it, although a Nike store at one point was the subject of speculation as a replacement tenant.

Whatever new business moves into the shell of the Barnes and Noble bookstore, let us hope that it establishes the heart of Bethesda as the educated and well-read community that we live in, without the sale of paperbacks to prove a point.

 

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