Barnes & Noble’s Big Lie

The sign is as direct as can be:

Barnes & Noble

“Listen to Any CD in the World.”  It doesn’t get much clearer than that.

I had my doubts.  “Any CD in the World” covers a lot of territory.  Even Shazam misses a song now and then.

I looked for an asterisk, maybe some telltale teeny-tiny small print.  Nothing.

I took a picture.  A Barnes & Noble guy walked over.  I explained my doubt.

“Oh no,” he said, looking corporately pained.  “Have you tried it?  Just type in anything.  We don’t have to have it in the store.  It gets everything.”

I strolled into the CD department..  I’ve only used the 1990s-era listening devices to sample 30-second snippets of in-stock music, via bar codes.  A helpful clerk showed me how to type in the name of “any CD in the world.”

I was thinking they might have missed a CD or 2 in Djibouti, or perhaps Papua New Guinea.  But I decided to start with an easy one.

I typed in “Midi and the Modern Dance.”  They’re a local band with a strong following — and a CD on iTunes.  Surely, a Westport store with “any CD in the world” would have Westport music.  Right?



I turned plaintively to the clerk.

“It says ‘Any CD in the World,'” I complained.

She laughed.  “That sign’s a lie.  There’s tons of stuff it doesn’t have.  I can’t believe the sign is still there.”

Neither can I, Barnes & Noble.  Neither can I.

2 responses to “Barnes & Noble’s Big Lie

  1. Mikey McGovern

    Hey Dan, thanks for the shout-out! While Barnes and Noble may not have the album, Amazon and iTunes sure do. Here are the respective links:

    We just recorded a new EP this summer that we hope to finish in December. Hope Staples is doing well!

  2. Jolly good on the Midi plug!!!! That CD section in B&N will be obsolete soon enough