Yesterday, Barnes and Noble announced that it will be closing its Lincoln Center location in January. Company spokeswoman Mary Ellen Keating said it was "economically impossible" to keep the location open after their lease ends this year because of rent hikes, but they'll "reassign as many booksellers as possible to our remaining New York City and neighboring stores."

Keating also said the company plans on looking for a less expensive replacement space in the neighborhood for the five-floor, 60,000-square-foot store at Broadway and 66th Street, which opened in October 1995 (there is a smaller location at West 82nd Street and Broadway). The company would not reveal the amount of the rent hike, but insiders tell the Daily News that landlord Lincoln Triangle Partners can command $250 to $300 a square foot for the prime spot: "There isn't a bookstore in the world that can justify that price," said Faith Hope Consolo, a retail real estate expert for Prudential Douglas Elliman. She suspects the Barnes and Noble will become a clothing store: "That neighborhood has turned into a fashion corridor."

The Lincoln Center BID's President Monica Blum tells us, "It is very sad. Barnes and Noble has been a very important part of this community for a long time. We will miss their active involvement in our efforts and hope that whatever retail comes here will be as community minded as Barnes and Noble has been. Lincoln Square is a very vibrant, strong neighborhood and we feel confident that the space won’t remain vacant for too long."

Other reactions to the closing have been mostly elegiac so far for the physical store—as well as being another reminder of the slow death of the bookselling industry—Crain's NY seemed much less heartbroken, calling it "an epic case of what goes around comes around."