There are two days in early March that celebrate reading: March 2 is National Read Across America Day and March 3 is World Book Day. Keeping with the theme of books and celebrating, today a New York Times article, written by Alexandra Alter, reports that Barnes & Noble “had another not-so-bad quarter.” The article, entitled, “Why Barnes & Noble Isn’t Going Away Yet,” reveals that even though the chain’s retail sales last quarter were down compared with a year earlier, sales of goods other than books, (toys, games, vinyl records, adult coloring books) grew 12.5 percent.

Here are reasons listed by Ms. Alter on why things might be looking up for Barnes & Noble and independent booksellers as well. They are:

  • Paperback sales grew and e-book sales fell in the first 10 months of 2015
  • The bookstore industry is rebounding (although Barnes & Noble plans to close 8 stores this year, which is the lowest in 16 years)
  • According to the American Booksellers Association, the number of independent bookstores is on the rise

In January 2013, I wrote a brief post about a Knowledge@Wharton article entitled, “Barnes & Noble, the Last Big Bookseller Standing: But for How Long?” This sobering question was raised in the article: Would consumers miss Barnes & Noble if it disappeared? My answer: “Personally, there is a certain reverence when entering any bookstore, regardless how big, and that I would miss very much.” In light of this, the fact that Barnes & Noble “had another not-so-bad quarter,” is a reason, in my book, to celebrate.