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&N.com 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.