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Eddyz Aquila
07-19-2011, 07:14 PM
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Borders-Calls-Off-Auction-nytimes-1678947798.html?x=0


The Borders Group, the bankrupt 40-year-old bookseller, said on Monday that it will move to liquidate after no last-minute savior emerged for the company.

Borders said in a press release that it will proceed with a proposal by Hilco and the Gordon Brothers Group. That liquidation plan will be presented to the federal judge overseeing the company's bankruptcy case on Thursday.

What is left to unwind are Borders' 399 stores, about two-thirds of the locations it operated when it filed for bankruptcy in February. It currently has 10,700 employees.

Borders will begin closing down its remaining stores as soon as Friday, and the liquidation is expected to run through September.

The development came as little surprise, ever since a committee of Borders' biggest unsecured creditors rejected the company's plan to sell itself to the Najafi Companies for $215.1 million. The committee had argued that the bid by Najafi, which also owns the Books-of-the-Month Club, could have allowed the investment firm to liquidate borders without letting creditors benefit.

So 400 stores and 10.700 employees will say goodbye.

That's a real hit to the publishing business.

Niti Newtfinger
07-19-2011, 07:27 PM
Yikes. It's scary to think that such a huge bookstore chain could go out of business.

The Grump
07-19-2011, 08:07 PM
They've been going "out of business" for years. We lost our Borders a couple years ago. But, we still have B&N and a couple independents. So I can still go in and "smell the sawdust".

ChaosTitan
07-19-2011, 08:10 PM
Readers will find their way to books, no matter what. But as a mid-list author, having one less major outlet for my books scared the hell out of me.

Michael Murphy
07-19-2011, 08:12 PM
That really sucks. Publishing is changing so fast, but fortunately not all change is bad. This one is though.

Alessandra Kelley
07-19-2011, 08:22 PM
I just wish they hadn't killed off so many other bookstores back when they were grabbing market share.

AlwaysJuly
07-19-2011, 09:02 PM
I'm going to miss Borders. I see a lot of folks saying "Well, you should support your local indies anyway, Borders is no loss." I would agree to some extent except -- we have no local indie bookstores. There's a Books-A-Million in our madhouse outlet mall, which while I like BAM, is a terrible location without its own exit to the parking lot. I try to avoid that mall like the plague. Or there's... Amazon. Or I can drive an hour to an indie.

Honestly, I hate to give Amazon that much MORE business - just because I worry they're taking over too much - but that's what this will probably lead to for me.

Phaeal
07-19-2011, 09:34 PM
I've heard that B&N and BAM will be taking over some Borders.

Just gonna repeat the free business advice I've been giving for years -- more coffee shop/meeting place, less peripheral products like greeting cards, CDs, DVDs, toys, etc. The Seattle's Best at our Borders was always packed.

Filigree
07-19-2011, 11:26 PM
I had a Borders less than three miles away from me. Its magazine, sf&f, and music sections had been dwindling for years. Even before it closed in March of this year, I often drove an extra nine miles to the B&N at a local mall -- better selection, friendlier staff. I'm sorry for the jobs lost, but Borders signed its own death-warrant with reckless expansion, a stunning inability to see market changes, and an arrogant attitude toward even loyal customers. Their flagship store in central Phoenix was once a gem, but turned into a disorganized travesty about four years ago.

I miss all the little local used bookstores. But Amazon drove them out, not Borders. I know some specialty used and new booksellers online that I try to buy from instead of Amazon.

My sometimes-snooty, sometimes-fun local independent bookstore must be celebrating, since its managers have fought against Borders' encroachment from the first. I can say that the success of 'Harry Potter', 'Twilight', and 'Hunger Games' helped save that bookstore. Before that, its buyers couldn't be bothered to carry sf&f, or host genre events. They were much more into New-Age, art, literary fiction, and self-help. Thankfully, they have now seen the light, and are much friendlier to local genre writers. And the two Borders nearest them are long-gone.

gothicangel
07-19-2011, 11:57 PM
I still miss Borders. :(

I'm looking forward to moving back to Newcastle in November, there is some great indies in the north east.

Jess Haines
07-20-2011, 12:00 AM
I had a Borders less than three miles away from me. Its magazine, sf&f, and music sections had been dwindling for years. Even before it closed in March of this year, I often drove an extra nine miles to the B&N at a local mall -- better selection, friendlier staff. I'm sorry for the jobs lost, but Borders signed its own death-warrant with reckless expansion, a stunning inability to see market changes, and an arrogant attitude toward even loyal customers. Their flagship store in central Phoenix was once a gem, but turned into a disorganized travesty about four years ago.

This. I used to go to Borders all the time when there were closer book stores, but once they started focusing more on magazines and DVDs and toys and whatnot, I switched to doing my "in person" shopping at B&N.

Truly unfortunate, but.. c'est la vie.

Ketzel
07-20-2011, 12:47 AM
The Borders in downtown Boston, near City Hall, is a huge store. The area already took some very hard economic hits these past five years, especially the loss of Filene's and the original Filene's Basement Dept. stores. This is really bad news.

September
07-20-2011, 01:55 AM
This is such a sad thing. My local Borders left several months ago. I used to love it. :(

rebelcheese
07-20-2011, 02:02 AM
I never liked Borders as much as B&N and BAM, but I did always enjoy Borders' manga selection. The CD and DVD prices are pretty much borderline-scam though, there's no reason for those things to be so high when Best Buy is selling a CD for $12 that Borders is selling for $18-20.

Still, Borders was the one place that I could find that sold Fightstar so I guess I'll always be grateful for that.

juniper
07-20-2011, 02:55 AM
I live in a rustic suburb. Borders is (for now) 2 miles from me, in a small outdoor shopping area. The next closest major bookstore is B&N 15 miles south in a huge shopping mall. And Powells in downtown Portland, also about 15 miles away, and harder to get to because of the traffic.

I hope B&N will move into the vacated space. What I really hope is that somehow Borders will still come out of this - I don't think having one major brick/mortar bookstore in the USA is a good idea for anyone, readers or writers.

This is creating "literary deserts," the bookstore equivalent of "food deserts." With some libraries reducing their operating hours or even shutting down completely, due to decreased funding, and now bookstores shutting down - those are the places children often become enraptured with the possibilities books offer. I don't think ebooks will ever replace physical books for young readers.

As hard as this is for adults, it's worse for the kids who are just now learning how wonderful reading is.

AlwaysJuly
07-20-2011, 03:59 AM
This is creating "literary deserts," the bookstore equivalent of "food deserts." With some libraries reducing their operating hours or even shutting down completely, due to decreased funding, and now bookstores shutting down - those are the places children often become enraptured with the possibilities books offer. I don't think ebooks will ever replace physical books for young readers.

As hard as this is for adults, it's worse for the kids who are just now learning how wonderful reading is.i think that's a very good point. I hope this is a temporary situation and that as the economy comes back, other bookstores will come in to fill these missing niches.

artemis31386
07-20-2011, 04:09 AM
I feel bad for the people losing their jobs. That's just what is needed, more people who are unemployed, especially when there are so many already.

scarletpeaches
07-20-2011, 04:13 AM
Meh.

I know, you're shocked at my 'meh'. Let me explain.

It's not that I'm not sad that a bookshop closed, but Borders shut down here a couple of years ago, and I can confirm life goes on.

Sadly, there's only one other book shop in my home town - Waterstone's. And they sell at RRP. Amazon's cheaper, so I get all my books there now, or from local supermarkets with their front-of-store promotions.

Anyway, I've noticed there haven't been any second hand book shops here for quite some time now - they've all been replaced by electrical goods stores or cheque-cashing outlets, which says a lot about people's priorities.

I'm conflicted about Amazon's politics...and the fact they sell books so. Damn. Cheaply.

Somebody mentioned children missing out on places to become enraptured with books and that, despite my automatic reply of "Libraries, duh," is sad. Very sad indeed.

What's also sad is the proliferation of junk food outlets in this town. I wish book shops spread as fast and were as pervasive.

So on one hand I say, "Meh, get your books elsewhere." On the other...the romantic side of me (and yes, I do have one) is sad.

Jamesaritchie
07-20-2011, 06:00 AM
I'm sorry for the employees, but I won't miss the stores at all. If ever a perfect example of how not to run a business existed, Borders is it.

blacbird
07-20-2011, 06:23 AM
I'm sorry for the employees, but I won't miss the stores at all. If ever a perfect example of how not to run a business existed, Borders is it.

At the corporate level, I probably agree with you. But the store that closed in my town was an extremely pleasant place that was always full of people, every time I went there. The book selection was superb. The only weakness I saw in it, locally, was that they devoted a huge chunk of second floor space to music CDs, and even though I bought things there with some regularity, it never was as full of people as the book area was downstairs.

Now, I suspect that business paradigm was dictated by "corporate" in NY or wherever the goddamn decision-makers reside in their bunkers having no idea how the world works outside their immediate personal vision. This is a huge problem with a lot of big spread-out corporate chains, and I'm pretty sure that it fed into Borders' problems.

But I'd be interested in hearing from you what else you know about how Borders was run, as a corporation. You have said things like this about them numerous times before, always lacking specific detail. Do you know something about their corporate management that might be enlightening to the rest of us?

I also think the continuing transition to cheaper e-books is a significant contributing factor. Borders never handled that one very smartly, either, by all accounts. But that transition has a huge effect on the welfare of the average (or below-average) writer, and the disappearance of this huge bookstore chain will, too, mepredicts. The harder it becomes for the consumer to purchase an actual physical BOOK thingie, the more difficult life will become for a writer trying to make a living off of the WRITING thingie.

Thank God I've abandoned the latter fantasy.

caw

Susan Littlefield
07-20-2011, 06:29 AM
I am too sorry that so many people will lose their jobs, but Borders has not been one of my favorite stories. They certainly did not manage well.

Snitchcat
07-20-2011, 08:26 AM
I agree it's sad to see such a large bookstore chain disappear. But then again, looking at its history and the way it evolved, I can't say I'm completely surprised.

Ignoring the digital market, or not jumping on the train effectively, would be a possible contributing factor. Amazon's push for market share certainly did not help.

However, on pure speculation (and personal experience in the commercial world), I wonder if the major, overruling cause of Borders' demise was senior / top management?

My reasoning is simple enough: as someone up-thread mentioned, top management may have lost sight of the world outside their bubble. So, perhaps a lot of bad decision-making thanks to an unrealistic vision. And that vision may have been fed by an exaggeration of sales reports from managers lower down the command chain who want to look good in front of their superiors.

If such a corporate culture existed inside the company, then, IMO, combined with the economical environment as it is and its developments, Borders going bankrupt or liquidising was almost a foregone conclusion.

However, all this is speculation on my part. Maybe I've seen too much unhealthy corporate cultures?

bsymom
07-20-2011, 06:19 PM
It's kind of horrifying that these places are becoming obsolete. People are too dependant on technology...

JSSchley
07-20-2011, 06:38 PM
As a former Ann Arborite...

:cry:

Borders is my hometown bookstore. I used to walk to Store #001 during my lunch breaks. I can't imagine the hole it will create on Liberty street. I have a lot of personal associations with Borders that transcend it just being a big box bookstore (and the flagship store feels a lot more like an indie than the Borders stores I've found in the other cities I've lived in).

On the other hand, I tried to work for them three separate times and never managed to get a position, so I've been a B&N bookseller off and on for years instead. But B&N is going to have to duck and dodge to avoid the same fate--they're moving quickly, but I don't know if it's quickly enough.

(and count me among the people who will be headed over there for bargains.)

jimbro
07-20-2011, 07:38 PM
I just wish they hadn't killed off so many other bookstores back when they were grabbing market share.

Amen to this. It is a good example of Karma, if there is such a thing.

Still, I also miss the nice borders a block from my house.

Alessandra Kelley
07-20-2011, 07:45 PM
As a former Ann Arborite...

:cry:

Borders is my hometown bookstore. I used to walk to Store #001 during my lunch breaks. I can't imagine the hole it will create on Liberty street. I have a lot of personal associations with Borders that transcend it just being a big box bookstore (and the flagship store feels a lot more like an indie than the Borders stores I've found in the other cities I've lived in).

On the other hand, I tried to work for them three separate times and never managed to get a position, so I've been a B&N bookseller off and on for years instead. But B&N is going to have to duck and dodge to avoid the same fate--they're moving quickly, but I don't know if it's quickly enough.

(and count me among the people who will be headed over there for bargains.)

That Ann Arbor Borders was legendary. It was my favorite Michigan bookstore ever. It was so unlike all the other Borders, it was like they were bland, standardized feeble shadows of it.

And I'm not heading over for bargains either. A Borders opened in my neighborhood some years back -- only two blocks away, but I refused to buy books there because we have a good handful of indie new and used bookstores that I wanted to support. This past spring this Borders closed down, and even then, even at fire-sale prices, even though I'm a serious bibliophile, I couldn't buy books there. It seemed ghoulish.

Mr. Anonymous
07-20-2011, 08:33 PM
what worries me about b&m chains like borders is how they can possibly compete with Amazon, considering that I routinely buy new or slightly used books off Amazon for 1/2 to 1/3 of the price I would have paid at any chain store.

I think the only way they'll be able to survive is

1) increased emphasis on coffee shop

2) decreasing floor space, decreased emphasis on print books (maybe have kindles/nooks set up all over the place, let people read that way, have special deals/savings for people who buy books in-store.)

3) If people want to buy a print copy, have them order it online and either have it shipped to them, or get them to come to the store to pick it up (I wonder how much more expensive it would be to ship to people versus shipping to a specific store? Could b&m chains absorb the cost?)

4) Start dealing in used books. If I can buy an actual book for cheaper than an e-book, much less an in-store copy, then you've lost me.

Sunnyside
07-20-2011, 09:56 PM
I'll miss Borders, just as I miss ANY bookstore that fades away. But I know that for many of us, your love or hate of the store depends on your experience with the one nearest you. I've been in some atrociously bad Borders stores, but the one near my home, about seven miles away, was always nice. The closest bookstore for me now is the Barnes and Noble nearly 15 miles away. That makes the whole "stopping off on the way home to browse" thing (as was my usual habit) much more difficult.

Personally, the coffee shop doesn't mean that much to me. The recent addition of a full-blown biography section (as opposed to lumping bios in with all the other non-fiction) was a big plus, and I always like their very wide-ranging magazine racks. And while I know that "thou shalt diversify" is the norm in many businesses, I thought Borders' DVD and CD section was a major mistake -- not only is the selection paltry, but their prices (unless you get lucky) are awful.

B&N, I think, gets it right when they stray from books, with their selection of interesting family and educational games.

While I buy most of my new books on amazon, Borders was always the place I could go and count on walking out with arms full just from the sheer joy of browsing. I'll miss that.

Phaeal
07-20-2011, 09:58 PM
In the coverage about Borders, I keep hearing the same thing again and again: "Oh, I used to go into the store to look at books, but then I'd buy them cheaper on Amazon."

What can't you do online? Meet people face to face, get a latte, tutor, hang out in a real public space, covertly or blatantly people-watch, maybe see a favorite author, enjoy AC you don't have to pay for (no joking matter these days.)

Bookstores have got to exploit the things they can do better than the Zon -- and the things the Zon can't do at all.

scarletpeaches
07-20-2011, 11:18 PM
Why the hell would you want to meet people face-to-face? That's one of the good things about Amazon. "Shut up and gimme mah books, bitch!"

Christine N.
07-20-2011, 11:20 PM
One of the many reasons I love you, SP.

I don't have a Borders near me. BUT the ones in Philly and other local areas were very welcoming and awesome when it came to scheduling book signings for my teeny-tiny POD press books.

B&N, I could set myself on fire and not get a signing in that place. Except the one in the local uni, but my cousin works there.

James D. Macdonald
07-21-2011, 01:31 AM
http://craphound.com/images/smallnobathroom.jpg.

ChaosTitan
07-21-2011, 02:35 AM
the place I could go and count on walking out with arms full just from the sheer joy of browsing. I'll miss that.

This is exactly why I mourn the loss of any brick and mortar bookstore. :(

Darkshore
07-21-2011, 06:52 AM
Border's was my closest book store. Now if I want to go browse physical copies I'll have to drive over an hour out of the way which is hard to do with my schedule. I own a kindle, but still find myself wanting to fill my bookshelf or buy full series to display...that's not nerdy..is it?

blacbird
07-21-2011, 08:01 AM
Why the hell would you want to meet people face-to-face?

Wouldn't this attitude shoot to hell your entire chosen writing genre?

caw

Christine N.
07-21-2011, 05:04 PM
My aunt and I go to the B&N. She picks out a pile of books, takes them to the cafe, and peruses them. Then she whips out her Nook and sees which ones are available and buys them right there.

Then she puts the books back.

I use her Nook to read anything I want from the B&N online store for free for one hour in store. (I can get samples from Amazon to my Kindle, but as quick as I read, I can do some serious damage in an hour.)

The store is still useful, just not in the way it used to be.

Eddyz Aquila
07-22-2011, 12:49 AM
Wouldn't the closure of Borders mean more opportunities for small bookstores to gobble up the market void left?

Fulk
07-22-2011, 02:35 AM
Quite possibly, but those small chains or independents would still have to compete with Amazon, which is what the big guys are already struggling to do.

NoGuessing
07-25-2011, 10:05 AM
Does this mean Whitcoulls, a minion store of Borders down here, is going to die also?

Please be so. They're charging $50 for new release hardbacks atm. I demand KARMA!

Eddyz Aquila
07-25-2011, 02:23 PM
I believe everything even remotely related to Borders (franchise stores?) will be closed down.

B&N could profit hugely off this. Same goes for Amazon if they decide to have brick and mortar stores.

Carrie in PA
08-01-2011, 01:30 AM
I'm really bummed about this. My Borders has always been a great store, lots of friendly employees, well stocked, clean and well tended. I drove 45 miles to get to it and in all the years I've been shopping there, never had a bad experience. It was always packed with customers, no matter what time of the day/day of the week I happened to be there. All I can do is hope B&N decides to take over that location, since it appears to me to be a profitable location from my limited perspective.

I have no local book stores, and the local library is worthless on many levels. So this really does sting.

(I guess I'm doubly glad I returned the Kobo and got a Kindle.)

DreamWeaver
08-01-2011, 01:46 AM
If any of you go into a Borders/Waldenbooks during this liquidation, I have a simple request for you. Please say something nice to the booksellers.

The stores are full of vultures complaining about everything, and it gets pretty awful to try to make it though depressing shift after depressing shift, especially with unemployment getting closer every day.

I don't work there anymore, but my friends do. So, please, if you ever consider doing one random act of kindness, tell a Borders/Waldenbooks bookseller they're doing a great job under trying circumstances, or the store looks nice despite the depredations of bargainhunters, or that you are incredibly impressed with how pleasant they were to that witch they were just dealing with. Lie if you have to :D.

Thanks!

MaryMumsy
08-01-2011, 02:47 AM
If any of you go into a Borders/Waldenbooks during this liquidation, I have a simple request for you. Please say something nice to the booksellers.

The stores are full of vultures complaining about everything, and it gets pretty awful to try to make it though depressing shift after depressing shift, especially with unemployment getting closer every day.

I don't work there anymore, but my friends do. So, please, if you ever consider doing one random act of kindness, tell a Borders/Waldenbooks bookseller they're doing a great job under trying circumstances, or the store looks nice despite the depredations of bargainhunters, or that you are incredibly impressed with how pleasant they were to that witch they were just dealing with. Lie if you have to :D.

Thanks!

I did this several times during the sell out at the store down the street from me earlier this year. And I didn't lie. I was very sorry to see them go. I probably spent $500 a year in that store.

MM

Susan Littlefield
08-01-2011, 03:30 AM
In the coverage about Borders, I keep hearing the same thing again and again: "Oh, I used to go into the store to look at books, but then I'd buy them cheaper on Amazon."

What can't you do online? Meet people face to face, get a latte, tutor, hang out in a real public space, covertly or blatantly people-watch, maybe see a favorite author, enjoy AC you don't have to pay for (no joking matter these days.)

Bookstores have got to exploit the things they can do better than the Zon -- and the things the Zon can't do at all.

It's funny you say this, because at breakfast this morning we talked about this very thing. I would never want to trade online sources for going into a bookstore, meeting people, talking with others, and browsing my books. I don't always buy while in the store, and I do buy at discount via my online book club and at used bookstore if possible, but I would never browse books at a bookstore only to go home and purchase them online. That is bad form and disrespectful to bookstore owners.

If a person wants to purchase online, he can often sample them online. But, really, nothing ever compares to the good old fashioned bookstore.

WriteMinded
08-01-2011, 05:36 AM
Wouldn't the closure of Borders mean more opportunities for small bookstores to gobble up the market void left?What small bookstores?

I love those small, and not-so-small, privately owned bookstores. Hours and hours to browse and read and taste and sample. I haven't seen one of those in years. Where I live now, there is a used bookstore 7 miles away. Not much there. The supermarkets and drugstores once carried big inventories of paperbacks. No more. It's a 21 mile drive to Waldenbooks in the mall (I don't go there), and 22 miles to B&N where I always enjoy myself, especially on my birthday.

I want to fondle my reading material, finger its pages, and hold it in my arms. (I like reading them too.) Nooks and kindles don't do it for me. It really saddens me to see it all slipping away.

Susan Littlefield
08-01-2011, 06:48 AM
WriteMinded,

I feel lucky where I live. Downtown is the most wonderful used and vintage bookstore that is going strong. We also have a couple of privately own bookstores that are really nice.

toldyouso
08-17-2011, 04:31 PM
If any of you go into a Borders/Waldenbooks during this liquidation, I have a simple request for you. Please say something nice to the booksellers.

The stores are full of vultures complaining about everything, and it gets pretty awful to try to make it though depressing shift after depressing shift, especially with unemployment getting closer every day.

I don't work there anymore, but my friends do. So, please, if you ever consider doing one random act of kindness, tell a Borders/Waldenbooks bookseller they're doing a great job under trying circumstances, or the store looks nice despite the depredations of bargainhunters, or that you are incredibly impressed with how pleasant they were to that witch they were just dealing with. Lie if you have to :D.

Thanks!

I second that. I worked in a Borders in australia until it closed last month and it could get so insane. I really appreciated the people who remembered we were human beings and who weren't there just so they could witness the car-crash and then complain things weren't discounted far enough or laugh and ask 'So do you have a new job yet?'. My thoughts are with all the employees. Solidarity.

KathleenD
08-17-2011, 05:22 PM
I took my son to the local Borders when he asked to go to the bookstore. We usually go to the B&N or a used bookshop when he makes that request, but I admit, I'm a vulture and 50% off...yeah.

From the lobby, we could see an enormous toy section, the stationary kiosks, the magazine aisles, a rack of umbrellas with book themes, and a bin filled with book bags.

My kid shook his head and said, "Mama, I think you made a mistake. I wanted to go to a BOOK store."

When a three year old can identify your problem, you are really doing it wrong.

We did eventually locate some books in the back of the building, but even that section was half toys, journals, product tie-ins, and stickers. When we did check out (and I echo those who say be kind to the employees, our cashier said we were the first to extend condolences all day), it was with a calendar, a Moleskine journal, and a puzzle.

I am sad because fewer book options = bad, but when I go to a bookstore, I'm not looking for some kind of upscale Walmart experience.

AlwaysJuly
08-18-2011, 12:27 AM
If any of you go into a Borders/Waldenbooks during this liquidation, I have a simple request for you. Please say something nice to the booksellers.

The stores are full of vultures complaining about everything, and it gets pretty awful to try to make it though depressing shift after depressing shift, especially with unemployment getting closer every day.

I don't work there anymore, but my friends do. So, please, if you ever consider doing one random act of kindness, tell a Borders/Waldenbooks bookseller they're doing a great job under trying circumstances, or the store looks nice despite the depredations of bargainhunters, or that you are incredibly impressed with how pleasant they were to that witch they were just dealing with. Lie if you have to :D.

Thanks!
That's a good point. I made friendly small talk with the Borders cashier who checked me out, told her how sorry I was to see the Borders go and commiserated with her about the process. I wasn't thinking about it as a deliberate thing, though, or how miserable some people might be to the Borders employees.

I just always try to talk to cashiers unless they're obviously very brisk/busy/untalkative. I don't know why, it's a compulsion for me -- my dad used to always joke with them and try to make them smile, and I picked up that habit.

Rhoda Nightingale
08-18-2011, 01:19 AM
Agreeing also with DreamWeaver re: Be Excellent to the Booksellers.

I've been in and out of our Borders during its liquidation, and the folks who were there are truly outstanding. I work in the same shopping area, at a Panera, and all the employees on this block get to know each other during our breaks. I go in the Borders before or after my shift, they come in and eat before or after theirs--we all know each others' names and faces. It's nice. And it's ending. :( I don't want to lose touch with these people.

juniper
08-18-2011, 05:56 AM
I was at the local Borders this afternoon. By the info booth a hand printed sign was posted: "YES - We do not carry Kindles." Sign of the times, literally.

Bought 2 calendars, a couple of maps, a couple of chemistry cheatsheets, a guitar songbook for the spouse, a set of reading glasses. 15% off the total price because I bought 8 items.

A lot of goofy gift items there, probably in prep for Christmas and already in their warehouse. Books were pretty well picked over. Last week when I was there I bought 3 of their black plastic shopping baskets, the handheld kind. One now keeps my magazines tidy next to my bed.

I'd heard Books-a-Million might be going in there but apparently not, now. A B&N employee I met somewhere recently told me that, and said he'd heard B&N might pick up the location. The next closest B&N is about 15 miles away.

I hope another bookstore goes in there. It's 2 miles from my house and a favorite place for me to browse. Maybe that's the problem, too many browsers and not enough buyers.

flarue
08-20-2011, 12:18 AM
It's absolutely depressing to no longer have a local bookstore at the moment. That place was my childhood and up until recently, it was still a place that I loved to browse and buy from. I can't imagine getting up to the next nearest store very often, which is probably at least an hour away. SIGH. Buying a book at Wal-Mart or online is just not the same experience. (Yes, if you couldn't tell, I'm slightly heartbroken lol.)

t0dd
08-20-2011, 02:46 AM
I considered going to the nearest Borders one last time yesterday, but then decided against it - partly because I suspected that it would probably have few books left by this time, partly because I wanted my last memories of it to be happy ones (a visit I paid to it in June, before the entire chain went out of business, and when the local Borders still seemed to be thriving) rather than a store filled with empty shelves going out of business.

I'll miss it, though. I visited a nearby Barnes & Noble last month, but it didn't have as large a selection. (It probably helped that the local Borders was a two-story store, and the Barnes & Noble only one story.)

JenniferShepherd
09-10-2011, 12:12 AM
I loved my local Borders -- partly because it was the only big chain bookstore in our area, partly because it was just laid out really nice and had a welcoming feel to it. I went there last week and they were still in the midst of their closeout sales. I felt really weird buying, say, a new hardcover book by humorist David Rakoff for something like 70% off. This has got to be hitting everybody in the publishing industry very hard. Authors are making less on their sales, distribution people are making less, lots of money that should be paid out to all parties is going to be delayed by Borders bankruptcy filing, etc. Very sad.

But I have to be honest. When my honey and I would go there, we would browse and rarely leave without buying $200 worth of books between us. Meanwhile, most others we'd observe were browsing or buying coffee, not buying actual books. And this trend has been true for a very long time. These stores have become places for browsing, not buying, and no store can continue to keep profits coming in in that environment. The sole exception in our area is during the Christmas season, when you actually see people carrying books they want to buy to the checkout line. Usually, we're among the very few actual book buyers who are in line.

We tried to keep our local store in business, but no luck!

juniper
09-12-2011, 05:12 AM
Last day for my Borders is tomorrow, officially, but we went in this afternoon and virtually nothing is left. Some stuffed animals and a handful of magazines and books, all fitting on one shelf.

A couple of novelty books, a guide to speed dating, and one little YA novel left, under a sign that said 50 cents. Felt sorry for it, picked it up but didn't seem something I'd want to read, and put it back. Ouch. Hope the author didn't feel that.

Workers were tearing apart the remaining displays. Another customer asked about the rumors of another bookstore moving in, and one of the employees said, "It was Books-a-Million but that's not going to happen now."

So, no new bookstore in my neck of the woods. Now we have just a couple of used bookstores, one handles mostly romance (not what I read). No just dropping in at the bookstore to see what's what, now it'll be a planned trip (15 miles).

I'm sad about this. When I was in there a week or so ago, when there were still books to be had, I thought about all the knowledge, all the imagination, all the possibilities brought together in one shop. Bookstores are different from other retailers. Yes, books are products, but they're products that have their own lives and worlds inside them.

I know that sounds melodramatic. I will really miss having a bookstore within a couple of miles of me.