Call it the Ghostwriters' Goldilocks Syndrome. Starbucks is too commercial. Panera has too much food accessible. The public library doesn't allow food and drinks. So, our favorite Third Place, we found after much trial and error, has been Barnes & Noble.
As we wait for a prospect or a client to interview, we can take advantage of the magazines to read for free in the cafe. If we get there early we can even grab a book and read enough so that we don't have to buy it. Should we be there to get out of our home offices, the genteel ambiance feeds our concentration. Those who might be homeless pay careful attention to hygiene. And everyone shares the outlet for recharging laptops which operate on the free WiFi.
Now, we find out that the brass at B&N are planning to shut down about 20 retail outlets annually. One of them could be the one we have made our home away from home and office outside the office. Where will we go? I feel like the 85-year-old Bronx yenta whose landlord is tossing her out to convert to condos. I know I can't adjust since I am not even willing to try.
Should we ask for volunteers from a think tank to come up with a plan to save B&N retail? That plan might involve subsidizing our purchases from B&N with funds collected via mobile. Chris Hughes, now at THE NEW REPUBLIC, could get in the loop. As payback our campaign could underwrite complimentary copies of THE NEW REPUBLIC distributed at B&N.