Campbell University's Barnes & Noble bookstore opened Thursday, March 2, with an official ribbon cutting attended by state and county officials, as well as one of literature's most famous characters. The Cat in the Hat was on hand for a special reading hour for Buies Creek Elementary and area day care children before the ribbon cutting. He was there to lend his imagination and talents to the launching of the new book store, a lot cozier and more comfortable than the previous store. "That's one of the big features of a Barnes & Noble store," explained Manager Nick McKay." We were able to take the existing space and turn it into a very warm and inviting environment. That is truly the unique aspect of this store." Standing in front of several windows flooded with light, McKay added that Barnes & Noble has given the old book store lots of dimension with depth of color and warmth. "We weren't looking to expand our trade books, but to use the same resources and suppliers to focus on our bargain books sales," said Barnes & Nobel Regional Manager Joel Kriner. "We had a shared vision with Campbell not to play to the expectations of our bigger stores, but to meet Campbell's needs." The store will expand its inventory to include current fiction and nonfiction titles as well as children's literature. It will also designate a monthly theme featuring books dealing with that subject. For example, this is Women's History Month and the round table at the entrance to the store's retail space is stylishly arranged with women's items such as a string of pearls, colorful straw hat and books pertaining to women. Senator Robert Morgan and Teddy Byrd, chairman of the Harnett County Commissioners, spoke of the importance of the book store to Harnett County. "It's great because our society is so specialized that we can't talk to each other," said Morgan. "The only way to keep up is to read." Byrd said the store will also save on gas mileage. "You don't have to go to Raleigh anymore to get your bestsellers," he said. "This is just another example of how Campbell is making progress and improving the county." To Dr. Jerry M. Wallace, president of Campbell University, students were the major motivation. "We're proud of the Barnes & Noble," he said. "It is a beautiful, beautiful store, but the bottom line for a store like this is our students. We want to service them in the best ways possible."
Photo Copy: Campbell President Jerry M. Wallace, right, talks with Barnes & Noble Manager Nick McKay at the store's ribbon cutting, Thursday, March 2.