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Great Escape

How about Barnes & Noble Booksellers?

I was brainstorming with a girlfriend about a week ago.

"What should be my next 'Great Escape' column for the web site? Any ideas?" I asked.

As she looked up to come up with an idea, I blurted out, "How about Barnes & Noble?"

"Yeah, that's good," she said. "That's a good place to escape."

But I still had my doubts. After all, instead of a small mom-and-pop place, I had suggested a chain bookstore. It was bound to be packed -- and noisy.

But when I met with my regional editor this week, I suggested we go to Barnes & Noble at 1375 Boston Post Road for two reasons:

1. they have Wi-Fi

2. I'd have a chance to check it out as a potential "Great Escape."

Well, my friend was right. It is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday living -- at least on a weekday.

My boss and I sat in the Starbucks cafe, conveniently located inside the big bookstore.

As we spoke, I noticed I was the only loud one, except for the barista announcing everyone's orders.

"Grande Chai Latte. Sugar free. Banana. Skim milk. No water," I thought I heard her say.

I like to say, "I don't speak Starbucks."  In other words, a small is a small to me -- not a tall, as the chain coffee shop likes to call it.

When did ordering coffee get so complicated?

In any event, besides the barista and me, everyone else was pretty quiet. I felt like I was in a library.

I looked around. Men and women -- young and old -- were sitting in chairs at tables, working on their laptops, sipping their coffees.

I wandered into the book store, where, once again, I noticed college students and senior citizens. But among the stacks, they were sitting in big comfy chairs reading books.

I took a walk through the store. Silence.

Everyone was either reading or perusing the shelves, which were chock full of not only books in all categories, but puzzles and games. Then there was a children's section to the side, and a music section in the back.

It's not like I had never seen it before. But I thought, "This isn't a bad hideout."

So if you're looking for coffee, quiet and a little computer time, I gotta say Barnes & Noble is an excellent choice -- at least during the week.

Steve March 19, 2011 at 10:43 AM
I believe the correct term is barista (from Italian for bartender) not barister (no such word) or barrister (one of two classes of lawyer).
Michael Brown March 19, 2011 at 04:00 PM
Try escaping to Collected Stories in downtown Milford. Read your purchase while drinking a coffee at Cafe Atlantique.

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