G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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Last year I mentioned that my brother, an avid reader and Barnes and Noble shopper, was kicked out of the kid’s section of his local B&N because the store didn’t allow lone men in the kid’s section. They claimed to have had complaints about men leering at kids. My brother was sitting on the picnic table there in the kids section because every other seat in the house was occupied by people browsing books they were thinking about buying on their Kindles.
My brother’s wife, who was pregnant at the time and with my brother and her parents at the store, complained to a manager and was told directly by a female employee that this was the reason he couldn’t be in the section. When I followed up on the incident (I was in my men’s actvism phase) I was emailed by the store manager and told that the policy was in place in order to ensure that children would have space to pursue their “love of reading” or some such nonsense.
Omar Amin, 73, said store worker Todd Voris told him that a female shopper had complained about him being in the children’s area May 4 in the store at Shea Boulevard and Loop 101 in Scottsdale.
Amin, who was alone at the time, said he was in Barnes & Noble to buy books for his two grandchildren who live in Wisconsin.
“Men alone cannot be by themselves in the children’s area,” Amin said he was told, adding that Voris said other bookstores had encountered problems with child molesters.
Voris, when contacted by The Arizona Republic on Thursday, referred the call to a district manager.
Mary Ellen Keating, a Barnes & Noble spokeswoman in New York, said in an e-mail response: “We have no comment on the store matter you called about. We believe we acted appropriately.”