Quite often, we need a place away from home and work that can allow us time to focus. Every now and then life demands a change of setting that can accommodate our need for an ambiance of comfort.
Due to the stressors of life, most Cascade Patch residents are likely to find themselves in one or more of these scenarios during their week:
Scenario 1: You’re at home working on an assignment for work or school. The daily ruckus of your roommates or family members makes a change of setting quite appealing. If it’s the weekend, after 6 p.m., the library is not an option.
Scenario 2: You’re a college student looking for a place off campus where you can do homework and chat during study breaks with friends without worrying about silence rules. You also may need to access several books and study supplements that you plan on purchasing. Plus, if you’re sleep-deprived like most college students, you’ll want some coffee.
Scenario 3: You are a small business entrepreneur who has to conduct interviews for a personal assistant. You would prefer not to hold the interviews in your home and want a place that is somewhat casual but has a professional ambiance.
Scenario 4: You lead a book club and need a venue to hold your meetings. You may even want to browse prospective books for future readings.
Scenario 5: You enjoy reading and being informed on a wide variety of topics, and want a comfortable spot in which to escape in a book.
Where in the world of Southwest Atlanta do you go to find an appropriate place for one or more of these scenarios?
Barnes and Noble at the Camp Creek Marketplace is one likely place. The mega book store provides space for each of the above scenarios, if not others as well. With its large selection of books, free Wi-Fi, and a Starbucks café, it easy to see how the experience meets a need for many.
On any given day, Barnes and Noble is sure to be filled with individuals and groups who are there to study, discuss professional matters, or for leisure. Tanisha, a local young professional, calls the book hub “a networking place” and “a meeting spot for professionals like herself to come together.” Daisy, a student at Shorter College, says that she comes to Barnes and Noble at least twice a week to get some coffee and browse the magazines.
While people do go there primarily to buy books and music, the setting itself offers an added social value to the Cascade Patch customer base. Tore, one of the baristas at the Starbucks, recounts how Barnes and Noble has been a center for family and community-oriented activity. “There have been book signings, Bible studies, meetings, and other medium-sized gatherings. We don’t mind as long as people clean up after themselves.” This multipurpose feature of the bookstore makes it a great place to meet people and network.
Barnes and Noble even offers a great escape for kids as well. In the very back of the store there’s a colorful and imaginative juvenile section complete with books, toys, educational materials, and a stage for young actors who wish to escape via the route of their imagination or a reading by a volunteer story-teller.
The mega book store is the only of its kind serving the Cascade Heights community, a fact that is not lost on its residents. “It was greatly needed in our community, as it is the first large book store in the area,” notes Marilyn, a store employee who has little down-time during work hours.
So given the necessity of the establishment, what exactly did we do before it was built? There simply were not that many people in the library, and the Starbucks—while a great escape of its own—does not offer the same kind of experience. If people wanted to go to a bookstore in their area, there were only smaller ones without the same accommodations. And if it was the Barnes and Noble experience that they wanted, it was necessary to travel to an area like Midtown, Buckhead, or Cumberland.
Go into the Barnes and Noble at Camp Creek any day and you’ll find many individuals who are seated in the wooden chairs—or a big comfy ones if they are lucky— with coffee in one, a book in the other, and a true impression that they have made a temporary escape into the world of fiction, world affairs, business, religion, biography, or any one of the plethora of genres that are available.
Scanning the room, you’ll find individuals, pairs, and groups concentrating on their laptops, discussing what could be important matters of business, or simply enjoying the company of others over coffee and a few magazines. You’ll find people standing for minutes at a time, reading excepts from dozens of publications. You’ll also find a bunch of children enjoying the company of others and books. The Barnes and Noble at Camp Creek has become more than a bookstore, it has become something of an informal outing for anyone of any age to enjoy.