There will be a lot fewer old-fashioned books in the Big Apple over the next decade. Barnes & Noble announced Monday morning that it is planning to prune between 189 and 239 stores by 2023, from its current total of 689. Local real estate brokers speculate that some of those locations will be in New York City. According to a Barnes & Noble spokeswoman, however, the sellstore has not changed its rate of store closures. She notes that the chain has historically closed about 15 stores per year over the last 10 years. "Barnes & Noble has great real estate in prime locations and the company's management is fully committed to the retail concept for the long term," she said, though she declined to comment specifically on the future of the company's Big Apple fleet. The ongoing cutbacks come as the giant Manhattan-based bookseller, continues to face stiff competition from everyone from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to e-books. The chain boasts 13 locations in the city, including a half dozen large outposts in Manhattan. While Barnes & Noble's Union Square lease, for around 62,000 square feet, does not come due until 2036, according to CoStar Group Inc., other outposts have earlier deadlines. The lease on the company's 34,000-square-foot store at 555 Fifth Ave., for example, is up in two years, according to CoStar. "We reach out to landlords quite often to inquire as to whether the space occupied by Barnes & Noble might be available," said Robin Abrams, executive vice president at the Lansco Corp. "They are in great locations, their business is changing, and they don't necessarily need to be in these locations with large footprints." Ms. Abrams said there is no shortage of apparel tenants from overseas who are looking for large, multi-floor spaces in the city. Companies like H&M, Zara, Uniqlo and Topshop are all in expansion mode. In fact, H&M recently introduced a higher-priced label called & Other Stories which it is beginning to roll out in Europe. Three years ago, Barnes & Noble closed its Upper West Side location on Broadway. The space was quickly replaced by popular discounter Century 21. Shares of the bookstore were down nearly 2% in Monday morning trading to $12.93.