Saturday, March 12, 2011

First, they came for the local, independent bookstores...

But that was before we got to Indiana. I haven't seen a local bookstore to speak of since I got here. So we went to Borders instead. And now they're coming for the big chains, too, apparently, because they're closing our nearest Borders.

I love little local bookstores, especially ones that bridge the gap between new and used with a nice character to them. But I've never lived near one, except when I was in Providence. When I was a kid, the nearest bookstore was a Waldenbooks in the Sandusky Mall--which is basically a crappy little mall store... but it was my own personal vision of heaven from late elementary through sometime in high school. When I was in graduate school, I actually worked in a Borders, since I picked my summer jobs based on where I wanted a discount. All in all, it was a really nice place to work, and I've maintained a certain brand loyalty ever since--I also appreciated the fact that I could be in their Rewards program without spending any money, unlike Barnes and Noble.

But when it comes right down to it, as much as I have always loved getting away to a brick and mortar bookstore, I've also loved the prices that Amazon can offer, so about the only time that even Borders would get my money was when they sent me coupons. And I meant the good ones, which is to say 30%-40%, because only then were the prices better than Amazon. For a while, I was obsessive enough to keep a list of books I wanted along with their price at Amazon, because sometimes even 30% off wasn't a good enough deal.

Well, my miserly ways have caught up with me and my region, because they're closing the nearest Borders. They're liquidating their stock with the discounts now at 30-50% off, so Lauren and I decided to make the journey up there, especially since there's a PetSmart nearby and Beaker desperately needed a shampoo and nail trimming. As it happened, though, we hardly bought any books, because while I no longer carry around a price list, my iPod--through Borders' free wi-fi--can tell me whether I'm getting a deal or not, and at only 30% off any of the books I wanted, I was not getting a deal. So I will await better discounts before I come in to pick the carcass of my bookstore friend. The only things we ended up getting were a Moleskine journal (50% off!), a game called Rush Hour, and a Sesame Street Abby Cadabby magic wand for Thea. That last item didn't have a price tag on it, but the cashier was more than happy for us to get it out of their store, ringing it up for $.99. Which was discounted to $.69. Its noise doesn't even seem that annoying yet.

But I digress. I will miss this Border's store, even though at an hour away we didn't use it that much. It was nice to know it was there--and now we have one less reason to make that trip up to South Bend/Mishawaka, I guess.


  1. There's BargainBooks up on Grape, and also BetterWorldBooks on Currant -- I haven't been to the latter but my friend has and liked it. The former I haven't had much luck with, but it is pretty big, and I've only been in twice.

    I found nothing at all worth getting at the Borders when it was 20%, and doubt it'll be any better now -- I'm sure it's quite picked over and my want list at the moment is pretty slim.

  2. While I love my Nook, I feel I may have contributed to the downfall of our local bookstores.