07 August 2011
So, Borders is finished as a chain. The local store up in Davenport has had a lot of traffic over the past couple of weeks. Actually, our store was always full and ours was one of the few that remained open after the initial filing for bankruptcy, but I think the business volume has doubled. Obviously, a lot of people are looking for bargains. The place is starting to get a definite 'picked-over' look.
I've picked up some stuff of interest fairly cheap that I wouldn't have paid full price for. Allen Steele's Coyote series-interstellar colonization in the Heinlein tradition. Not bad, but Heinlein would've wrote it better. The Great War in Africa. Interesting reading about WWI in Africa. Completely different style of fighting than in Europe. Robert Conroy's 1945- not bad alt-hist regarding the US invasion of Japan in 1945-46. Robopocalypse. Don't waste your money on this-either watch the Terminator series or read World War Z which is much more masterfully crafted. DVDs of the early seasons of The Red Green Show. Obviously people in rural Ontario live just like people in rural Northwest Illinois. Overall, not a terrible bunch of titles.
I'm going to miss Borders. I spent a lot of hours in their stores and put more than a little bit of money in their coffers. We still have Barnes & Noble, but a lot of times Borders had a bigger selection of titles to choose from. I guess they were a little bit late to get on the e-book wagon, and they couldn't compete with the colossus that is Amazon.com. Some of the employees have quietly said that perhaps the company had too many chiefs and not enough Indians. If so, some of the chiefs they had might have made some tactical errors in running the business.
I grew up going to Waldenbooks, which could be found in nearly any mall in America back in the 1980s. Most of the stores were small by today's standards, but when you grew up in a small town they looked like the Library of Congress. I believe Waldenbooks was absorbed by Borders, so they'll be gone as well.
In the 1990s, there used to be a smallish chain called Media Play. They had books, and videos, and music. AND video games. One stop shopping! What a concept! That WAS the place to go come Christmastime. A person could get everything on the Christmas list and be done in a couple of hours. But they got too much into items outside of their core business and they folded in the early 2000s.
Oddly enough, some of the small local bookstores are still hanging in there. I don't know how they do it, but they are. It's good to see. I can see the advantages to e-books. They're cheap (after the initial investment in the reader), and they take up NO space. But I still like having an actual book in my hands.
There is a campaign going to get Books-A-Million, which appears to be based in the southeastern US, to locate a store here in the present Borders. Yeah, I'll email the company to do that. I think the area could support a store. For some reason we appear to be more literate than the rest of the country or something. Plus, I like having a couple of major chains in the area to keep each other honest, pricewise. We'll see.
So long, Borders, and thanks for all the reading!
Posted by yankeedog at 22:45