Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Love Note to Borders

Dear Borders,

I read this on Pimp My Novel. Then I cried a little bit.

I just wanted to take a moment out of my day to tell you I love you, Borders. I've always had strong feelings for you, back since, like, high school. And sure, I have relationships with lots of local indies--I never claimed to be monolibrous--but you're the only retailer I've ever worked at, and my special feelings for you run very deep.

I know that your booksellers are book people, and so many of them work for you because they get great joy out of sharing the books they love with other people. I know that you have fiction buyers who have resolutely continued to take chances on new and literary fiction even in the spiraling economy (gosh, I hope you're not being punished for THAT, because you've sure supported some of my books). I also know that I believe it's really, really important that there not be only one big chain retailer of ANY kind of media--it goes against my principles--and that I panic for your welfare on behalf of society as well as out of nostalgia.

I also know I can't single-handedly keep you in business (although it might seem like I'm trying, what with how many times I've been in there with coupons lately). But I just wanted to drop you a note and say I'm rooting for you, hard.

Love,

Moonrat

18 comments:

Elizabeth M. Thurmond said...

NOOOOOOO. D:

That decides it... I wasn't planning to use that "25% off one item" coupon, but if I must...

Diane T said...

I grew up in Ann Arbor, so I remember when Border's was my local indie ... I really don't want it to close.

Rebecca Knight said...

I know :(. It sucks. I love Borders, too, but I feel myself being lured away by Amazon deals even as I try to support them.

Their amazing cold brewed marble mochas always have me going back, though :P.

JES said...

My sentiments exactly (sans the "I used to work there" nostalgia). First time I walked into a Borders store I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. Here in town, we used to have a B&N and a Books-a-Million, more or less cattycorner across from each other on the same highway. When Borders moved in at the same intersection, we thought it was nuts. But in less than a year, both B&N and BAM had moved across town.

It's really depressing to go into Borders now. I don't know if it's just our store, but it's been completely remaking its shelving since shortly after Christmas; they seem to have no more than maybe 60% of what I'm looking for anymore. (Although, as Eric pointed out, if I'm in the market for toys I can find them there. And a jillion other places.) I was in there yesterday looking for a graphic novel: they've moved the graphic novels and manga over by the children's books, and apparently completely eliminated all but the manga. *shudder*

E.H. Adams said...

I love Borders! I just bought 3 books and a coffee milkshake from them last night. I am doing my part to keep them going.

~Aimee States said...

Barnes and Noble tricked me into working for them as a barista, saying "One day young lady, one day you too can work the floor." Oh no I couldn't. It was a sick scamjob that took advantage of my hopeful and papery dreams from day one.

I love Borders and Books-a-Million. But I do try and buy from my local, and never used if I can help it. Balance, Yo.

Anna Claire said...

They don't have a Borders where I live (B&N and BAM only) but I don't want to see bookstores of any kind close. I'm still mourning the loss of our town's best indie bookshop last year. *sniff*

Natasha Fondren said...

Oh, moonrat, I hear you! I've gone to Borders six days out of seven for the past 8 years. I go there to wander and to write. I love Borders.

On the other hand, I have to notice the irony. The manager at my local Borders turned off all the electrical outlets because he didn't like the laptop crowd. (I will admit the other Borders around did no such thing.) I lost a bit of love then, though. I've spent, ohmigosh, about a thousand a year there.

But one manager won't ruin my love completely. Borders is... just Borders. I love them.

coffeelvnmom said...

We only have one major book store in our town, and it's Borders. I don't know what size they normally are because this is a teeny one in our mall, but if it goes, I don't know what I'll do. *tear* Maybe if we all try to get each person we know to buy one book... (A girl can hope, can't she?)

L.H. Parker said...

Optimistically speaking, I don't think they'd be gone forever. Most likely they'd merge with another bookstore (not B&N) ...or at least that is what they kept telling employees when I worked there. A little part of me would miss them--I worked for them all four years of college. Ah, the memories...

BuffySquirrel said...

Eh. When one of our two major bookshop chains was eaten by the other, we were told it would be good for customers.

No, really.

Peter Ellis said...

I can't wait for Borders to fail after wiping out our great local bookstores.

editor out west said...

Weren't they supposed to go to a completely nonreturnable model in which they stocked more copies of fewer titles (so they could face out every title on the shelf)? If so, I guess it's not working. Doesn't bode well for ever making publishing a nonreturnable industry...

ClaireD said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Reesha said...

In case anyone was in doubt that the internet and technology was changing publishing, here's your proof.

I secretly hope borders will just shut down and close up some of its stores and regroup behind a stronger line of defenses. They are spread thin and running away to fight another day might be good.

Anonymous said...

I'll add to the Border's love. I live in a city with two nationally known indies. I'd been a fervent supporter for years, enrolled in the frequent buyer program, etc. When my first book was coming out, I was told by both that if my publisher didn't provide any co-op and I didn't pay an appearance fee, I couldn't do a signing. Border's came through for me, set up two signings (the city is big enough) and we sold a lot of books. I still support indies, but I no longer buy the story that they give local authors more love than the chains.
I hope Borders can find a way to hang in.

moonrat said...

Anon--I agree. I frequently am able to get Borders to support/do events with authors when the indies (and obviously BNN) have ignored us. Their commitment to local talent and independent publishing runs pretty deep, from my experience.

flakes said...

I used to love Borders. I would go in there after work or on my lunch break and browse books. It had far more selection than any other bookstore I knew of.

Then I made the worst decision of my life. I decided to take a year off to write. And got a job in a bookstore.

My year at Borders was the single worst year of my life.

To this day I can't believe that a company where most of the staff work there for no other reason than because they love books -- could make books so unpleasant and joyless.

You can't treat a bookstore like a K-Mart. People who buy books love books, they want to talk to people who can give them suggestions and find good books. People at most other retail stores just want the lowest price for the least Hassel. And the staff doesn't have to have any skill or knowledge to do their job.

When Borders goes bankrupt (probably this coming February) they will probably blame their demise on things like how people are reading less books. But to be honest I think people are reading less because Borders has done such a piss poor job of selling books.