Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Borders Loot and My Guilty Conscience

I'm feeling very guilty but I could not help myself the other day, I took advantage of the 20% off clearance prices (plus additional 10% off with my Borders Plus membership).  This is what I brought home:

From top to bottom, in case you can't read the titles:

Aunts Aren't Gentleman by P. G. Wodehouse
Galahad at Blandings by P. G. Wodehouse
The Girl on the Boat by P. G. Wodehouse
The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne by Brian Moore
A Truth Universally Acknowledged: 33 Authors on Why We Read Jane Austen by Susannah Carson
Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
An Omelette and a Glass of Wine by Elizabeth David

I'm sure I could have bought these books for less online at Amazon, but there is something so wonderful about browsing.  It was really bittersweet, though, since I couldn't help feeling if I'd had more shopping sprees like this at Borders, they'd somehow have stayed in business.  My closest Borders is only about five minutes' drive away, and I frequently hung around reading without buying anything, not even in the cafe, or bought one item with my coupon so they barely made any profits.  I did shop on their website occasionally but found their online delivery slow so I hardly ever used it.  And the past few months, they've been sending me coupons that worked out to about 46% nearly every week!  How can a business expect to survive like that?  I knew it wouldn't last but I still took advantage.

I do have a Barnes & Noble membership and frequently bought from them online -- I prefer shopping at B& over Amazon even though I have to pay tax, since I can return items at the store without paying return shipping -- plus, they have an actual telephone number answered by real people.  (When was the last time you spoke to someone from Amazon??  It's virtually impossible.)  And besides, Barnes & Noble has Starbucks, and the good squashy chairs!  Where can I get those chairs?

I've heard from several people who worked at Borders that it was a whole range of problems that contributed to its demise, so I know I shouldn't hold myself responsible because I didn't shop there enough.  I'm still sad to see a major book retailer go out of business.  I spent many happy hours browsing and reading -- I do think their fiction selection was much better than Barnes & Noble.  And I'm sure I'll go to the other two stores within driving distance to hunt up some more bargains.  Nearly every one of the books I bought was dusty, especially the Wodehouses, so I feel I have given these books a happy home.

I'm sure when the store is closed for good I'll probably cry.


  1. Oh dear, Borders went bust...I know, I shouldn't worry, there are no Borders where I live but still...lovely haul btw although indeed bittersweet.

  2. Borders was the first bookstore to introduce the lounging-in-the-bookstore idea to me when they arrived with great fanfare in Pittsburgh. I was in love immediately! V sad about their passing. Also -- I love your purchases. Such great books!

  3. I haven't bought anything from Borders since they started their liquidation sale, but I probably will since there is one in the mall where I work. I admit, I am more of a B&N person. The B&N near me is much bigger, with a better selection by far, so I generally go there or Half Price Books.

  4. You're still supporting the book business, so that's a plus. I have to say, though, I never saw that many Wodehouse books at Borders - where for some reason the few they had were sometimes put under "Humor" rather than "Literature." I was always tempted to move them.

  5. I told myself that I needed to reign myself in a bit and not go crazy at Borders, so I haven't been there in a week (we have one five minutes from our apartment, and another 20 minutes away). When the other one (20 minutes in another direction) closed a few months ago, I went nuts.

    I actually prefer Barnes and Noble, but with all those coupons, I went to Borders more often. The one closest to me had a larger selection of fiction titles and the staff was really amazing. I am so sad that they'll all be out of a job.

    Borders is a Michigan based company, so it is hitting a little harder here, especially after all the Big 3 Auto trouble a couple years ago.

    But, you have some great finds, and if you are a fan of Wodehouse, I might have to look for a few titles!

  6. I loved mooching around Borders in Glasgow and Dundee but sadly I didn't manage to get to the closing down sales. Looks like a good haul, I want to read some Wodehouse soon.

  7. I agree, there's nothing like browsing. But readers can't be responsible for bad management practices and over-expansion, which I understand were problems for Borders. Glad at least something good came out of it -- the Wodehouses look great.

  8. Those Wodehouse editions are so pretty, they're irresistible! A guilty conscience plagues me as well, especially when a new book gets plunked onto the shelf and ignored. But we're building a library for ourselves which is a good thing...right?

    There is nothing like a good browse in a bookshop so long may they reign. Fingers crossed.

  9. Love those Wodehouse books you got - great haul! It is sad to see Borders go, but truthfully I've always preferred B&N. They have a better atmosphere for drinking coffee and browsing around the shop than Borders ever has. Plus, those chairs you are referring to are the absolute best!! I want one! They are so comfortable - that alone makes B&N such a draw ;) I did head to Borders yesterday to look at the sales and came away with one book. Oh well.

  10. Anachronist -- it's just sad whenever a business closes, but I think bookstores are the worst.

    Audra -- I think my first lounging bookstore was Barnes & Noble, but I've spent so many happy hours at Borders. I'm sad every time I see the "Going Out of Business" sign.

    Reviews by Lola -- I do frequent HPB but I'll be spending more of my bookstore dollars at B&N. Just trying to cancel a backordered item at was a huge hassle. I shouldn't be surprised, I think their poor website was part of their downfall.

    Lisa May -- I went back today to a different Borders and found another Wodehouse! Sadly, no Zola, but I also found a Flaubert I've been looking for, and a biography of Julia Child. I may have to post another photo.

    Allie -- I feel so bad for the employees. One of the nearby school districts also just let all the library assistants go, so there are a ton of book-related employees out of jobs. I feel very fortunate to have my library job!

    Kristina -- I'm really into Wodehouse lately but it does seem that he's telling the same story over and over! I think his talent is making the same story funny and fresh every time.

    Darlene -- I agree. I do shop online if I can't find what I want, but there's nothing like a good browse. There is an amazing independent bookstore in Austin called BookPeople, but it's about 80 miles away so I don't get out there very often. The only independent bookstore in San Antonio moved about a year ago so I rarely stop by.

    Col -- I know the problems at Borders were pretty deep. It still makes me sad. They hadn't closed any of the stores in San Antonio (only 3) the first time around, but the closure didn't come as a shock. I just hope Barnes & Nobel can survive.

    Nadia -- I want those chairs! I keep asking where to buy them and I think it's a deep dark secret. And they have Starbucks!

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  12. I've been reading a ton of posts about the Borders closing ... and so many people have pointed out the problems they had and why they didn't make it. Don't feel guilty ... enjoy the books!

  13. You got some great books! I love PG Wodehouse and Of Human Bondage is one of my favorite novels. Sad to hear that Borders is closing.

  14. I agree...When I was a kid I used to love going to the big Borders that was about 30 min from my house. Soooo many books!! In One PLACE!

    I know Borders had a lot of problems, but I am still sad to see them go.

  15. A delicious loot! Elizabeth David AND Brian Moore. Splendid!


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