Forest Hills residents petition to Keep Barnes & Noble

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The Forest Hills community has learned that Barnes & Noble at 70-00 Austin St. is rumored to close its doors in January 2016, as first covered in the New York Daily News on May 14, 2015. Forest Hills resident and Forest Hills Times Columnist Michael Perlman has started a petition to keep the iconic store open. So far, the petition has around 5,500 signatures and only needs 2,000 more to reach the goal.

rTWpiJzfdSemtow-800x450-noPadIts closure would signify the loss of Forest Hills’ only book store and a community cornerstone which also attracts patrons from beyond the immediate neighborhood. Barnes & Noble occupied this site since 1995, and significantly expanded from a small storefront on Continental Ave. to 2 floors of retail (22,000 square feet). Barnes & Noble represents personalization, which contributes to the historic character of the charming, diverse, and vibrant Austin Street that dates to 1906.

This is a store where multi-generational patrons have the opportunity to explore various genres under one roof, feel as if they are traveling around the world and through time, and interact with the physical nature of books (touching the pages, smelling the print, appreciating the illustrations) in a welcoming and friendly environment. This is also the site of events including book signings for patrons of all ages. The community needs this educational, cultural, social, and recreational establishment on Austin Street, as opposed to only reading a book independently on a Nook or computer, or by resorting to an online retailer.

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