General manager Rebecca LaFleur says that it didn't take
long for the new
Barnes & Noble Johns Hopkins bookstore to catch on. The
store, located on the
ground floor of the university's Charles Commons residence
hall in Charles
Village, opened on Oct. 20, 2006, and quickly became the
place" it was intended to be, LaFleur says.
"The store opened with an established base of students
and local community
members," she said. "We've been very happy with the foot
neighborhood groups told me they are very happy to have a
bookstore here in
Charles Village, and we're starting to see a lot of
familiar faces at our
events. I guess you can call them our regulars."
The 29,000-square-foot bookstore features general
retail services — books,
magazines and Johns Hopkins paraphernalia — on the
main floor and textbooks for
Homewood courses on the second floor. It stocks close to
56,000 book and
magazine titles and has a complete children's
A popular attraction has been the café, which
draws a steady crowd, day and
night, of folks who want to eat, drink, read, study or have
"I also see tutoring sessions going on here," LaFleur
said. "The other
day I saw a gentleman teaching someone chess. It's just
your local coffee shop,
and people love to come here and hang out."
On the retail front, LaFleur says that both the
general book section and
children's books have seen a strong rise in sales the past
few months. "And
anything that says Johns Hopkins on it sells," she said.
"Of course, our
lacrosse items do very well."
The store features local musical acts on most Monday
evenings and, like
other Barnes & Noble locations, is a site for book signings
Several authors have already visited the store. In April,
nearly 380 people came
to hear Frank Warren discuss his new book, The Secret
Lives of Men and Women: A
Post Secret Book. Warren is a small-business owner
based in Maryland who, in
November 2004, started the popular blog site
postsecret.com as a
community art project.
Among the special events set for summer was this past
Party for Harry Potter, which celebrated the release of the
last of the Harry
Potter series and featured arts and crafts, refreshments,
giveaways, trivia and
much more. "We'll have the whole shebang," LaFleur said
before the event.
"This is, after all, one of the most anticipated book
releases in history."
Other special events will be announced on the store's Web
johns-hopkins.bncollege.com, as they're planned.
The campus bookstore has certainly come a long way
from its days in the
basement of the university's Gilman Hall.
"We are a destination now. We were extremely busy
weekend, and every night there are a lot of people coming
through our doors,"
LaFleur said. It helps being visible.
The Barnes & Noble Johns Hopkins' Village Voices
committee is looking for
members interested in enhancing the bookstore's community
meeting times and other information, contact Rebecca
firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-662-5850.