If you listen to Book Riot’s weekly podcast then you already know that a Barnes and Nobles in New Haven, Connecticut will be serving beer and wine during their author readings. As Rebecca and Amanda mentioned the Utica Observer Daily reports that the inclusion of potent potables won’t turn the bookstore “into a bar or nightclub.” Here’s the thing though: I would love for a bookstore-bar/nightclub combo.
Let’s just close our eyes for a second and think about what an amazing idea this is.
First of all book people tend to be really fun people to get drunk with. There are few things that I enjoy more than drinking cheap beer and shouting with a group of other book nerds about all the emotions that Margaret Atwood gives us or trying to guess what bizarre thing Johnathan “I Was Going To Adopt An Iraqi War Orphan” Franzen is going to do next. The only thing better than sitting around talking with other drunk book nerds would be wandering around the shelves of a bookstore with a group of drunk book nerds and a bottle of wine as we read each other the most cringe worthy sex scenes or point out the next book we all Have To Buy NOW.
And think of all the good theme nights that a bookstore-bar/nightclub could have. Dance nights based around books or authors with themed music and a menu that’s just full of puns. Sure there would be the obligatory Great Gatsby parties or whatever but I’m excited for things like a surreal party based around the worlds of Madeleine L’Engle. Author readings would take on a whole new level at this bookstore-bar/nightclub. I’m not a huge fan of author readings in general but I would love to party with authors Toni Morrison or R. L. Stine. (Please, like you haven’t thought about partying with Toni Morrison.)
This would also be the best bar to read and drink at. As someone who enjoys being around people but not actually being social I’m a big fan of reading at bars but without fail someone ends up interrupting me to ask what I’m reading. It’s bad enough when they then try to start a conversation about my book but worse is when they take pity on me for not having friends and try to invite me over to join their friend group. Just imagine a bar where you could sit and read and eat bar nuts and enjoy the scene without some well-intentioned person coming over to interrupt your good time. Doesn’t that sound freaking great?
I can’t pretend that this is a flawless idea. Actually it would be flawless except for the fact that drinking + book nerds + bookstores = serious financial regret the next day. While the loose wallets of drunk book nerds would be awesome for the management I can imagine that for us patrons we’d be dealing with hangovers and empty bank account when we wake up. On the other hand we would have a massive stack of books to keep us occupied when we have to call out of work that morning because of the “flu” that we caught the night before.
Now personally I think that this is a brilliant idea. I would love to have a space for book nerds to get together, drink their favorite drinks, dance to playlists put together by great authors, and end up leaving with great memories and a bag full of new books to read. Sure this isn’t what we’re getting with this Barnes and Nobles experiment but hey, a book nerd can dream.