Browsing the puny (I miss Borders!) Technology section at the local Barnes & Noble today, I did not see a single Perl book. I was hoping that they sold out, but the manager confirmed my fears: they no longer carry Perl books in that store. The reason, he said, is that no Perl book has been published since 2012.
In regard to the size of the Technology section: The way the shelves are stocked is based on sales. Since people rarely buy their technology books from the store (guilty...), the Technology section is correspondingly small. "The people who are interested in these books read them in the Cafe, but they never buy them."
There was a healthy selection of Python, C#, and even Objective-C titles. On the other hand, there was only one book on Go. After looking up Go in this computer, the store manager explained this one as follows: these books are prepaid, meaning that you can order them, they get printed on-demand, and then you buy them at the store. I did not feel satisfied with this explanation, but politely let the manager attend to other customers and wandered off, deep in thought...
Is the writing on the wall for Barnes & Noble, too? It will be a sad day when this store closes. The local Borders was replaced by DSW; what will replace Barnes & Noble? A Zumba school? Cheesecake Factory? Another DSW to compete with the one 1 mile away? How many pairs of shoes do we need?
I spend between $100 and $200 at that store yearly: I buy children's books that look interesting and cost little. Today, too, I did not walk out empty handed. The sun was shining and people were going about their day, happy to be off on a Tuesday. And none of them knew (and did they know, they would not have cared) that there was not a single Perl book in that book store and there never again will be. Truly, an end of an era.