Huge news for book shoppers: The Strand is getting rid of its draconian bag check. Store owner Fred Bass explains that he's rearranging the whole front section in an attempt to make the store more user-friendly. Instead of a mandatory bag check when you first enter the store, there will be more merchandise tables, plus a space where people can opt to stow big packages. The change was precipitated in part by a switch in security companies, although Bass says he's never been worried about shoplifting. "If you steal a book," he adds, "you'll have plenty of time to read it in jail."
Since the bag check has only been gone for a few days, customers are still trying to adjust. A correspondent on the scene reports much bookish confusion, with people shoving their bags imploringly at random store employees. Housing Works also recently nixed their bag check, so this appears to be a developing trend.