Friday

22 July 2011

No more running for the Border's.
I has a sad...


I spent a lot of time here over the last 4-5 years. I wrote much of It's Not About the Cookies, The King and Queen of Perfect Normal, and The Flipside of Here sitting at one of the little tables while downing gallons of tea (extra ice).

Now the cafe in Border's is closed (as are the restrooms, which is unfortunate) and people are descending on the place like it's Book Nirvana.

The signs outside say "up to 40% off" but honestly, the only thing that was actually marked at 40% was a rack of greeting cards. There was a stack of DVDs marked at 20% off, but everything else is only marked down 10%.

Considering the deals you could get prior to this closing sale, that 10% off is more than you would have paid yesterday.

Yet that line? It goes from the starting point near the far right register, across the front of the store, and all the way to the back by the cafe, where I stood to take the picture.

I would guess people in that line will wait 45 minutes in order to pay more for books they would have 18 hours earlier.

I'd like to ask where they were all along, but I know the answer. They were buying books from Amazon, where they could get even better deals than they could buying stuff at Borders on sale. They were downloading e-books to their Kindles and Sony e-Readers and Nooks. They were paying dirt cheap prices at Costco.

I'm just as guilty of that as everyone else. I embraced the e-reader fervently, not just because of the price of books and the ease of which one can just buy a book no matter where they are, but because as a writer, I earn a hell of a lot more on e-books than I do print.

Still...I hate to see a bookstore go.

I really hate to see one where I spent so much time in go away.

11 comments:

Wendell said...

This is exactly why I wasn't rushing down to Border's today--besides being 190 degrees outside, I knew the deals wouldn't be that great.

Yes, it's sad to see a bookstore go, but please don't feel guilty. Borders made several business mistakes and while it's sad, it's not your fault.

The last thing any of us needs is another reason to feel guilty about enjoying e-books.

Marti said...

I'm not even going in there for the liquidation sale. Too sad, too mobbed (probably) and it's 102 degrees outside. It's the only book store in my neighborhood, so now there will be none. All B&Ns now a long, long walk or subway/bus ride away.

Have to admit I didn't buy much of anything there over the past year. I tried. Went in now and then with coupon in hand, but it wasn't well stocked or organized.

Thumper said...

Borders made some strategic decisions that backfired--like relying on Amazon for its online presence, opening too many stores too quickly, and tying into Kobo instead of coming up with its own e-reader, but the shift in readers' buying habits didn't help.

The Borders here was always bright, clean, well stocked, well organized, and the people who worked there were readers...not to mention the kids in the cafe who made an effort to remember people and what they liked. It just sucks...

Camie's Kitties said...

While I'm not a fan of Borders (I prefer BN), I'm still sad to see the chain close. I am and always have been a reader, and as such, any lose of a book store is a reason to feel sad.

Tara

Geekwif said...

I worked there for a short time about 11 years ago. Horrible place to work even then, but I always loved hanging out there. I don't live close enough to go there much anymore, but it's still kind of sad to see it go.

Bohemian Faerie said...

Your borders looks like ours did in the first round of closings (I'm in NJ), and same price structuring too. Borders screwed up bigtime on a lot of fronts, but it was still heartbreaking to see ours go, it was only 3 years old, HUGE, clean, HAD been well stocked and always help around until the last few months...Now I'll be relying on online and the odd trip to BN, which makes me sad :( I LOVE bookstores, there's just nothing like going and prowling those packed shelves! Books A Million is putting an offer up to buy 30-35 of the former BOrders sites in various states, so hopefully something comes of that, even though they're not my first choice as a bookstore.

BohemianFaerie (AKA the Feline Sextet's meowmy)

Derby, Ducky said...

I don't buy many books anymore, you read them once and then they sit on a shelf. To be a permanent addition to my personal library, it has to be a classic. Otherwise I read and return to my library. Plus I feel better with a real book in my hand versus a ereader.

Angel and Kirby said...

We are sad, too.

kenju said...

I really hate to see ours go, too. I knew the deals would not be good for at least a week or two. They were not last year, when our other stores went out of business. The last Borders here is only 3 miles from my home, and I will really miss browsing there.

Shaggy, Scooby and Scout said...

Our Borders closed early this spring.
B&N is going strong and I enjoy going there. But I admit I buy most of my stuff at amazon. As much as I champion the necessity of bookstores, both chain and locally owned it comes down to $$$ these days. All the bookstores in Grand Forks where mom still lives have closed. A University town and only a used bookstore there (aside from the UND bookstore itself).

Thumper said...

B&N is just too far from here to be an impulse trip to browse books. I definitely can't go write there. Granted, 98% of what I buy now is for the Kindle, but I still love going into bookstores and I always leave with having spent money there...

I wonder where the GF people go for books if not online now. Fargo? I think there was a Walden's or B. Dalton in the mall when we were there...hard to remember now.