QUEENS — Local booklovers won’t let their Barnes & Noble close without a fight.
More than 2,600 residents signed an online petition to save the Bayside bookstore, at 23-80 Bell Blvd., within the Bay Terrace Shopping Center, after the chain announced last month that it will be closing that location, along with the Forest Hills one.
“Barnes & Noble has operated as the largest book selection center in Queens for more than fifteen years, and its closure in this area would cause great inconvenience to families, professionals, and book lovers who regard this as their "go-to" bookstore,” locals wrote in the petition posted on Change.org and addressed to the bookstore chain and its landlord in Bayside, Cord Meyer Development.
The Bayside and Forest Hills bookstores are the last remaining Barnes & Noble locations in Queens, after the Fresh Meadows store closed last year.
The bookstore said it was not able to reach an agreement with its respective landlords over the lease, the chain said.
“At the request of the Bayside, Flushing, and Queens communities, the Bay Terrace Barnes & Noble lease must be renewed to preserve this educational center,” the petition reads. "It is an atrocity to rid the largest borough of New York City its most popular bookstore."
Earlier this year, residents also started a similar petition hoping to keep the Forest Hills store open. The petition was signed by more than 6,000 people.
Locals also founded a new Facebook page — "Keep Barnes & Noble Open in Queens” — to air their grievances and keep each other informed. The page has amassed more than 3,800 "likes" since launching by the end of August.
The bookstore chain insisted last month that it won't give up on Queens.
"The Queens community is extremely important to us and as a result we are aggressively looking at new locations and expect to have a new store there in the future,” the bookstore said in a statement.