Sunday, July 24, 2011

Where Do We Go Now?

I know many of you are mourning the loss of your local Borders store the same as I am.  I don't have the fortune of having an independent book store near me.  There are two used book stores not too far away but one is inconvenient and the coffee out of the range of even an addict like me.  The other is so tightly packed with books one can't move let alone relax and browse.

My daughter and I visited our beloved Borders yesterday as they started their clearance sale.  The cafe and even the bathrooms were closed.  All the tables and chairs, even the soft ones scattered throughout the store, were gone. The things I usually buy in Borders, fantasy and mystery, were only be offered at 10% off, so I didn't pick up any books.  I thought to look for a new planner for 2012 or a great calendar but they were no where in sight.  The special coffees and really cool mugs were also missing. I guess those poor overworked souls who usually hustled around behind the counter in the cafe were the first to lose their jobs.

My daughter picked up three books, two she needed for her AP classes in the coming school year.  The only great buy was 40% off of magazines.  I picked up one fitness magazine, one cooking magazine and three for writers.  My daughter found three for herself. 

The man who checked me out has worked at the store as long as I've shopped there.  I gave him my sympathy for the loss of his job.  He told me our store was actually a great money maker for Borders but it was going down with the rest of the ship.  He also gave me so hope by sharing the rumor that Books A Million might move into some of the stores spot that have had great performances. 

As we walked to the car, my daughter talked about how sad it was.  We can still drive for 25 minutes over crowded highways to visit the nearest Barnes and Noble but it won't be like having the bookstore ten minutes away.  The B&N has always been crowded and will be even more so now.  I won't retreat there to work on edits or my blogs when the homestead proves too distracting.  There are no coffee shops I know of to use as a quiet though public office.  It was sad.

Are you losing your local Borders?  Do you have a bookstore you visit for no other reason than the wondrous feeling of being surrounded by books?


  1. Sorry to hear about the loss of your bookstore. I know I would struggle with that.

    The closest Borders here is more than an hour drive away. I'm lucky because the town I live in is big in local businesses--so there are at least three independent bookstore plus a variety of used ones. I guess I didn't realize how lucky I was until reading your post.

  2. I lost my local Borders last year, or possibly the year before. It was never that big in Wales so it's understandable that it had to go. I got some good discounted books on the last day, but it was saddening to see it all going. I'm lucky there's a Waterstones near me, but the variety isn't great and all the books are overpriced :(

  3. Borders is the only chain store in my town. It was always busy and I think was probably a money-maker as well. I always had to wait in line to check out. But I'm fortunate I live ten miles from a college town and there are bookstores on every corner there. I also use Amazon quite a bit.

    I hope that's true about another bookstore coming in to take over the space. I know they would do well at our location.

  4. We never had a Borders and lost our Waldenbooks years ago. We still have a Barnes & Noble, but I don't get to it often.

  5. Hi, Susan. We live south of Fresno, Ca. which is only 25 minutes away on the Freeway. They have both Barnes & Noble and Borders. On the news, they claim that their Borders store was a big money-maker, too. I'm curious to see whether they go down with the ship as well.
    I buy a lot of e-books now, but also love to walk into a bookstore to be surrounded by books. We'll see what happens.


  6. James, ALL Borders and Waldenbooks will close by September 30, profitable or not.
    Many of the Waldenbooks that have closed over the past few years were very profitable, and the inside scoop says they were keeping the parent company alive. But the corp. was SO determined to plunge more into their big stores and compete with B&N that they closed them anyway.
    I really hope BAM doesn't take over those stores!!! That's all we have in my little town and I never shop there. Most disorganized bookstore on the planet. Really hope they're not the last chain standing.

  7. Diane, thanks for your insight on BAM. I've never been in one.
    I remember Walden Books. I used to shop there every chance I got before they opened the Borders.
    Maybe we'll have a daring soul open up an independent store to fill the gap.

  8. Hey, Jamie, I've been visiting your blog but everytime I try to comment it asks me to sign in on google again. I know it's me and not your blog but I can't figure out how to fix it. Didn't want you to think I haven't been visiting.

  9. I'm sorry to hear about your bookstore!

    There's an independent bookstore in the area (it's a nice place) and a Barnes&Noble; there used to be a Waldenbooks in the mall, but then they closed down and opened only during the holiday season.

  10. I go to Barnes & Noble most of the time because it's closest to where I work. But if I have to order a book, I go to the indie store in town farther away. We really don't have any close bookstores at all. I can see why you'd miss your Borders.

  11. I did not visit our Borders too often, but I miss it when I think about not being able to go there.

  12. Our Borders closed a couple months ago. You're right about our local B&N. It's busy and loud. Not a very good place to write. I always preferred the Borders over it.

    You might want to try the MidtownScholar Bookstore in Harrisburg. It's a beautiful independent bookstore that has great coffee.

    If nothing else, it's worth a visit because it's so unique.

  13. Sorry to hear about the Borders closing near you. The only bookstore in our town is a B&N. There used to be an indie in a nearby town that I liked. It was small, but had a little wine bar where you could sit with the owner and other patrons, have a glass of wine if you wanted, and discuss books and stuff. She would have guest authors, but the place was small so not a huge audience.

  14. Helen, I would love to be able to have a glass of wine in a bookstore and sit and chat with other book lovers.
    Ava, I've been to the Midtown and it's a neat store but it's still almost all used books.