Death of a Bookstore

I went into my local Borders last week. I’d previously issued myself a moratorium on book buying until finances improved, but signs screaming “70% Off! ALL STOCK MUST GO!” lured me in.

By the time I got there, there weren’t many actual books left. Empty bookcases dotted the store, many of which were actually for sale. A small clump of romance novels were still available, along with some sci-fi and horror. The average price of these books? $2.40 for a paperback.

I bought thirty bucks worth of books and called it a day.

I have many happy memories of that particular store. I’ve lived in this area for almost five years, and frequented it (and the local Barnes & Noble) whenever I had some extra money. The gal who rang me up didn’t know me, per se, but we’d seen each other in there before, and I asked how she was coping. She said she was looking forward to reading all the books she had piled up.

“Still,” she added, looking around at all the empty shelves, “it’s really sad.”

She seemed to be coping well. I wonder how others took it — learning their job is about to be wiped out because someone (or several someones) with a much bigger salary effed up. Years ago, the parent company of my magazine job laid off the vast majority of their copy editors due to finances. They kept me and a few others. Meanwhile, someone high up in the hierarchy visited our building, parking his fancy Bentley next to my older Nissan and prancing around in designer jeans.

But I guess that’s business for you.

RIP, local Borders. You were a good store full of friendly employees. I hope they find good places to work.

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