By Della Hasselle and Jordan Heller
MANHATTAN — The Lincoln Square Barnes & Noble will shutter its doors at the end of January, the company announced Monday.
"Barnes & Noble regrets to announce that we will be closing our Lincoln Triangle Store at 1972 Broadway at 66th Street in Manhattan at the end of January 2011," company spokeswoman Mary Ellen Keating said in a statement.
Though the news comes after recent reports that the bookseller's stock has been plummeting due to increasing interest in e-books and shopping for books online, the company is blaming rising rents.
"The current lease is at its end of term, and the increased rent that would be required to stay in the location makes it economically impossible for us to extend the lease," Keating said.
"We want our loyal customers and booksellers to know that we are ever committed to continuing our search for a new location on the Upper West Side,” the spokeswoman added.
Chris Doeblin, 49, co-owner of the independent bookstore Book Culture on West 112th Street, said he thinks that now that Barnes & Noble has successfully driven out all of the competing retailers in the neighborhood, they are cutting off real estate they don't need.
Regardless, Doeblin said he hopes that Book Culture can "absorb some of their business."
"The news about Barnes & Noble will give impetus for people to support the little guy," Doeblin said.
Dorian Thornly, 42, co-owner of Westsider Books on Broadway and West 81st Street, said he expects more people to come in and browse, but is concerned about what the Barnes & Noble closure means for his business in the long run.
"I guess they closed because of the effect online sales and e-books were having on their business," he said. "I don't know what effect that will have on us. It's something to think about."
Many browsers at the Lincoln Square location were unaware of options other than Barnes & Noble, and figured that if this Barnes & Noble location closed, they'd just head to a different one.
"Well, if it's a sign that the economy is still bad, then I'm upset about it," said Isabel Galis, 50, a lawyer from Inwood. "But there are other Barnes and Nobles in the city."
Andrew Latner, 23, an Upper West Sider who is starting law school at Fordham University in the fall, said that he'll likely end up at the Union Square Barnes & Noble when this location closes.
"But I'm probably going to go digital next year anyway," he added.