Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I am a Vulture (RIP Borders)


I went to Borders this past week. My kids are always itching for new books (that's my excuse; the truth is that generally, I'm far itchier than they are) so we went.

The parking lot was packed. Inside, shelves were in disarray and shoppers had that hungry look in their eyes, looking for the best discounts.

I might have had that hungry look too. And I was embarrassed that I was out for a good deal.

Once we brought our purchases to the front desk, the clerks had these empty expressions on their faces.

"Look at how many people are here," one checkout guy said to another. The other guy just shook his head.

"When did you find out?" I asked, as gently as I could.

"Same time you did. No warning. None."

I took my bag of purchases and corralled my kids to the exit. The Borders employees kept working, looking tired, sad, and filled with disbelief.

I used to go to Borders to write sometimes. No more. I'll miss you Borders. Sniff.

How has the impending closing of Borders affected you?

Also, please take a moment to visit Laura Diamond's Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog post on genre-envy: what genre/category do you wish you wrote (but don't) and why?

54 comments:

Laura Pauling said...

OUr Borders was 40 minutes away so it doesn't affect me too much. But my daughter and I would go together and then eat at Panera's. B and N is 50 minutes away - don't know if we're willing to drive that far!

Jessica Bell said...

We don't have borders in Greece but I used to go when I lived in Australia. I'm sure it will be missed!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

We don't have Borders in Canada.

I feel for those poor people. They've lost their jobs but they still have to work until the store is officially closed.

Christine Danek said...

I feel so bad for them. No warning so sad. We have a Borders Express that was closest. They had a great YA section that included local authors which was awesome. I guess my book buying there didn't help. :(
I will miss you, Borders.

Slamdunk said...

I have complained that the closest bookstores in our area are each about 1 hour away. Now that the local Borders is done, we have just a Barnes and Noble option, but still with the 60 minute drive--blah.

Matthew MacNish said...

This is so sad. While e-books and online retail have some advantages, nothing compares to talking to real people who are passionate about books.

E Louise Bates said...

I used to be a bigger fan of B&N over Borders, but about five years ago I got fed up with their insistence on only featuring what was most popular at the time, instead of covering a broader selection. When I found that Borders was carrying the re-issues of Margery Allingham's Campion series ... well, my allegiance promptly switched, and stayed firmly with Borders.

Now they're gone, and someone cleared all the Campion books out of our local store before I had a chance to get them, so I am left very, very sad.

Carrie said...

I'll miss the Borders in my home town. Whenever I go home to visit my best friend and I always go there. my best friend and her husband met while working at Borders.

Ciara said...

B&N was closer so Borders closing didn't affect me as much. I feel for those employees.

storyqueen said...

Our Borders closed more than a year ago.

So sad.

The clerks were probably thinking, "Maybe if everyone had come sooner....."

Strange times.

Shelley

Old Kitty said...

We have two major bookshops here in the UK, Waterstone's and WHSmiths - Waterstone's - who tend to be more geared to promoting new talent are just about doing ok although they are struggling and their future is bleak and Smiths - although going strong and thriving are only stocking bestsellers and nothing more! It's very sad!!

Poor Borders! I feel for their employees too! Very very sad! Take care
x

Carol Riggs said...

I know...so many people out of jobs. We have a very small Borders here in southern Oregon, in our very small mall. I bought DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth (only 10% off though). I worry for the future of us as writers if the bookstores are going under. (boo, ebooks)

Bossy Betty said...

Borders was about 20 minutes away and I didn't get there too often, but I always enjoyed it when I did. I like the cafe with all the tables.

Carol Kilgore said...

Borders was five minutes from my house. Wiping tears.

Kelly said...

The two closest bookstores were Borders, 15 min and 25 min away. I loved taking the kids there and letting them browse and pick out books. And I of course loved browsing and buying myself.
Very sad.

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

We had a couple Borders stores nears us. I used to write in each of them now and again. Very sad. I really feel for all the employees who have lost their jobs. I also had a couple book signing events with Borders which, of course, won't happen now. : (

ketch1714 said...

Hi! I'm dropping in from Magan's Cookout Blog Tour! It's nice to meet you!

I never been to a Borders until I heard they were going out of business several months back. I was going for the sales, but I didn't realize how much the sight of it would affect me. It was like walking into someone's wake - so sad and grim. The death of a bookseller.

My heart goes out to the employees. They tried to smile when they rung up my purchases, but you could still feel their pain. It was a sad, sad day.

Gail said...

When the Borders near me closed last year, I teared up. Now all of them closing, my heart is breaking. I've been a Border's girl since the 70's when the first store opened in Ann Arbor, MI and sold primarily text books for University of Michigan students. That's a long time commitment, a lot of Sundays spent browsing and buying... There will always be a spot in my heart for you, Borders, that B & N and Amazon can't fill.

Heather said...

It broke my heart. I haven't shopped the big sales, honestly mostly because I live hundreds of miles from a Border's store. I'm so sad about any bookstore closing. :(

GigglesandGuns said...

About 150 more people out of work in our area now.
When they opened they put every small bookstore out of business and now they've met the same end. Poetic justice?

Chris Phillips said...

I never really went since B&N is closer.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

We don't have a Borders here in the UK but feel sorry for your loss and the loss of jobs for the employees.

Yvonne.

Connie Keller said...

We don't have a Borders in the city where I live, but I feel so bad for the employees. The job market is bleak right now.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

We don't have a Borders. Really crappy deal for all of those employees.

Cold As Heaven said...

I've never been to Borders. I used to visit Barnes&Noble from time to time, but my favorite bookstore (in America) is Tattered Cover in downtown Denver ... and Left Hand Books in Boulder used to be cool >:)

Cold As Heaven

Shellie said...

When my son was growing up, Borders had a story time hour every Wednesday that I used to take my son to. They made the best cappuccino, and I would enjoy a cup as my son and the other little ones got caught up in the story telling of a Borders's employee.

Seeing them close is so sad. Last year we beefed up our book shopping at the store, hoping to improve their bottom line. Funny, many of my friends did as well with an 'we have to save Borders' attitude. Obviously, our effort was to no avail. I'll miss Borders.

Krispy said...

It's very sad! There's one like 10 min from me at the local mall. I used to hang out there all the time before movies - like if I'd gotten there super early. I also bought lots of birthday and Christmas presents there.

There were huge, long lines the first couple days after the sales started, and it made me sad. :(

It's upsetting there will no longer be a bookstore at the mall.

Cheree said...

I feel sad for all those people who lost their jobs. In Australia Borders was owned by the same company who owned our other big bookstore and they both were forced to close.

I was one of those hungry shoppers who lucked out when visiting when the books were going for $1-2 dollars... but the workers just wanted all the books gone so they could go home.

Sherrie Petersen said...

I'm thankful that the indie bookstores in Solvang and Santa Barbara survived in spite of Borders and B&N, because now the big guys are gone and it's just the little indies. It's a huge bummer that such a huge resource for readers and writers is gone. But I hope other bookstores are able to fill the void in a sustainable way.

Mary Mary said...

My critique group always met at the coffee shop in Borders. I hadn't thought about that till now. We're on a little bit of a summer hiatus, but I guess we're going to have to come up with a new place. How sad!

J.L. Campbell said...

We never had one here, but I feel for those who will be out of a job.

-E- said...

will barnes and noble be next?

Donna said...

I am affected or is it effected? Because another business is out of business. What is happening to us?

Leslie Rose said...

Our Borders was right outside the movie theatre. I always browsed (and usually bought) before or after the movie. My kids called it the "death of a tradition."

julie fedderson said...

Borders was always my little happy bubble of instant gratification, like a literary Taco Bell. Quick, easy, big, and rows of clearance books. Not to mention coffee and WiFi. I could sit there for hours. I will miss one stop shopping and blowing an afternoon there, but it does make me hopeful that the smaller, independent bookstores may come back strong. I also hang my head in shame, because I, too, will be picking the bones for the last of the sale books.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Losing a bookstore franchise may be more ominous than is currently believed. Is it a sign that readers are drying up as a buying segment of society. Should Amazon become a monopoly with a struggling Barnes & Noble, we may have a rude awakening as those who have subscribed to Netflix recently suffered, Roland

Jennifer Hillier said...

I'm beyond bummed about Borders. I, too, picked through the last store we had before it closed and grabbed a few books, but wow, was it ever depressing. My heart goes out to the employees. This is an especially lousy time to be out of work. :(

Clarissa Draper said...

I've never been to one because there are none near my house but it's sad when any bookstore/coffee shop has to close.

D. U. Okonkwo said...

I know, how sad is it? I used to love whiling away time in Borders. They had a fantastic range of books that was hard to find anywhere else.

Laila Knight said...

I just got an email from Borders this morning about more sales. I feel like a vulture too, and I feel so bad for all those people that are losing their jobs. I loved Borders, and they were so convenient.

Rachna Chhabria said...

We don't have Borders in India. I feel bad for you all Border lovers.

Lydia..on monday blogger was acting weird, the comment widget on your blog had disappeared, I just could not comment.

Carrie Butler said...

You know, I blogged about a similar experience the other day. We must be on the same wavelength--vultures that we are. ;) Great post!

Aubrie said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and for the congrats on my book!

The closing of Borders is very,very sad.

:(

LTM said...

we didn't have Borders in Baton Rouge--just BAM and B&N. But here in Indy, there was a big ole Borders up by the Fashion Mall... It's sad when bookstores close. It almost feels like libraries closing or something... but that's silly. And I'm encouraged that it might mean more small, indy bookstores will reopen. Here's hoping~ :o) <3

M Pax said...

Sadly, mabye, ours was right across the street from B&N, and I'd never been there. My crit group meets at B&N.

One of our indie bookstores is closing, which makes me sadder. Such a great champion of the local writer, for readings and book signings, etc ...

Hmmm, maybe we need to start doing signings, etc ... at coffee shops and the like.

Out of My Mind said...

Hi....thanks for following.....902 followers!!!!!! Wow!!!!

Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a funny comment. Compared to you I am a novice and I am constantly afraid that I will run out of ideas.

I live in a small town so I won't be affected by the Border's closing. However, whenever a well known
gathering place like that closes it makes me sad.

i guess it won't be long before books are obsolete.
Now there's what's really sad about this whole thing.
Can you imagine a world without books, book stores and libraries????? I can't.......kt

Karen Lange said...

I will miss Borders. I hate to see a place like that go out of business. :(

lbdiamond said...

What a shocker!

alexia said...

Yes! I am so sad. I wrote a post about it too a few days ago.

Jayne said...

I feel bad for its many employees, though I doubt they could have been too surprised. I have a Borders five minutes from my house (I blogged from it once), but I think I'd feel terrible shopping there while the body's still warm.

Then again, there are deals to be had. It's those sad faces, real faces, that make it difficult. (I hear ya, Lydia.) :/

Olga said...

It's an absolute misfortune that such bookstores are closing. It happens everywhere. And it's a real loss.

Suze said...

'the clerks had these empty expressions on their faces.'

That is so incredibly sad ...

Francesca Zappia said...

I know what you mean about the clerks. Every single cash register had someone behind it, and they all looked really forlorn. I've always been more of a Barnes & Noble person myself, but I got up to the counter and started wishing I'd gone to Borders more in the past.

Ghenet Myrthil said...

That's so sad. I feel really terrible for everyone who's losing their job.

 
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