Saturday, July 23, 2011


(Photo by Rotem Eldar)

Since we used to make a pass by our local Borders pretty much every time we went to the gym–it's right next to Baja Fresh where we'd often grab lunch or early dinner–we've seen the bookstore start to ebb over the last few months. 

The axe has now fallen, and so we made a stop there yesterday to see how it the deceased and still-cooling corpse was doing.

The whole front entry was already cleared out and empty, echoing hollowly.

With the initial drop in prices, from 10% on most books, to 40% on magazines, and various discounts in-between, the bargain hunters were there in force. Most people we've ever seen in the place, the check-out line backed up  all the way to the kiddie book section, seventy, eighty people, and lots more roaming about. 

We decided not to stay. It felt like I was one among a flock of vultures, picking through the carcass, and for me, ten percent off on a few books wasn't worth waiting in line for what was going to be a long time. 

A few more days of this, some discount dealer coming in to bid on the remains, and Borders here will be done. Dead, empty, shuttered, and adiós.

Mostly I get my books from Powell's in Beaverton, which is just a couple blocks up the road from the Borders, in the Cedar Hills Mall, and  for a bunch of reasons: You can get used books there. They take trade-ins for credit or cash. My sci fi guy Peter works there. It's a bigger store than a typical B&N or Borders. (Not a patch size-wise on Big Powell's downtown, but then again, nobody else is, either, vis a vis rack space, certainly not on this coast.) It's the closest bookery to my house anyhow. And when I can, I will support local businesses.

I won't miss Borders as much because of Powell's, but that's four hundred stores
and thousand employees gone, and a lot less rack space for books and CDs–plus our Borders had live music one night a week, small and mostly acoustic groups, and they'll be looking for another place to play. 

I hate to see a bookstore close, but if there is an upside to this, it is that with Borders gone, Powell's Beavo will probably get an uptick in business, and I do want to see them stick around. 


Kris said...

I remember when the Borders in my area was just starting to thin out their stock. The stupidity was staggering. Borders had started offering 30-40% coupons weekly, with several easy, free ways to get your hands on them; they had been doing this (and advertizing it) for months. Yet, the weekend they first offered 10% off everything in the store, the register lines were a hundred people deep.

I needed to pick up Dust of Dreams, called ahead to assess the damage, and got talking to a clerk. She stated that most of the people in the feeding frenzy were waiting for up to one hour with only one or two books in their hands- all to get 10% off. All the while, again, there were weekly offerings of 40% coupons, hard copy and printable. So, as you stated, it was the scavenger in people that brought most of them out those days, not the actual deals; which, of course, just ads to my cynicism about humanity.

Dojo Rat said...

Plus, Borders is a national chain, Powells is local for Porkland folks.

That's where my support was when I lived there (Burnside store)...

Shady_Grady said...

The 10% wasn't worth it. Plus I still have unread items from when the nearer Borders closed. I'll wait for a week or so when things are 20-40% off and maybe a week after that when things are 60-80% off. Ann Arbor won't be the same without Borders but such is life.

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