Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Local Borders Closes

Many of you probably know that Borders is closing a lot of its stores. No bailout for the bookstores, I guess. One store that’s closing is the store in Metairie, Louisiana where I’ve bought most of my Bricks & Mortar books over the last decade. It’s also the store where my Wordsmiths Writing Group meets, so we are for the moment a group without a home. Anyway, Borders is having a going out of business sale and I naturally stopped by last night to pick over the carcass. I’m enough of a scavenger that way, although I will weep while cracking the bones for their marrow. A lot of other folks had the same idea I did. Too bad business couldn’t have been that good for them before bankruptcy.

I bought some $300 dollars worth of books, mostly nonfiction, with about 75% of it being related to the Darwin project I’m working on. These include books by Stephen Hawking and Richard Dawkins on the anti-creationism side, a book on the cool new area of evolutionary theory called “Evo-Devo,” and several books by religious thinkers who are trying to resist the Fundamentalists’ attempt to hijack the Bible and Christianity for their own ends. A lot of good reading ahead of me.

I did buy some just-for-fun books. I picked up three of the “Chuck Norris” is the man books by Ian Spector, including one entitled Chuck Norris vs. Mr. T. Some light, quick reading. I only bought one novel, Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry, which I’ve been intending to get for a good while. I also bought a Batman graphic novel, and books on Dave Mustaine, Motley Crue, and AC/DC.

I do not need more books to read. But that has never stopped me before. A couple of months back I bought a new bookshelf that I intended just to hold 1) my highest ranked TBR pile, and 2) unread books by friends of mine. I’d hoped to keep that shelf under 50 books but it’s over 200 already, not counting the ones I’ll be adding to it today.

I have to face it, I suppose. I just can’t stop. My name is Charles, and I’m a Bookaholic.


Paul R. McNamee said...

I do not need more books to read. But that has never stopped me before.


I have to face it, I suppose. I just can’t stop. My name is Charles, and I’m a Bookaholic.

As you will see from my blog post today, I'm right there with you (though, I didn't spend quite that much this time around.)

I am thinking of stopping in the store again later, if things ever reach 40% off before they close completely.

As my wife says, "There are a lot worse things to spend your money on." (and she's not much of a reader... lucky to have her!)

SQT said...

Our Borders isn't closing (surprisingly) but we did go to a downtown one last year when it closed. The lines were out the door.

I hear B&N is also facing financial troubles. I'm wonder how the brick and mortar stores are going to survive in the ebook age. Or if they're going to survive...

Deka Black said...

I would comment something, but i fear at the moment i only have a atrocious lot of stereotypical sentences in my mind :(

jodi said...

Charles-I'm afraid I am in need of the same support group! We are a cult!

Charles Gramlich said...

Paul, my wife says the same thing, about how I could have much worse vices. Sounds like we got ourselves two great ladies.

SQT, from what I understand, Borders will still have brick and mortar stores, just in a shrunken distribution. It's going to push even more people into e-buying, though, which will ultimately worsen the crisis.

Deka, you aer forgiven.

Jodi, indeed, well I'm OK as long as no one of us predicts the world is ending and says we should all set fire to ourselves on a pyre of our books.

Angie said...

I tried keeping my TBR pile to one shelf in a bookcase once. It was one of those lofty dreams that lasted for about two weeks. :)


Darkstorm Dale said...

I feel your pain, Charles. The B. Dalton in my hometown closed down just before Christmas. I have to drive seventy miles to get to the nearest bookstore.

Unfortunately I contribute by buying books online from Amazon.com. Its usually cheaper with the discount and shipping than buying it retail.

Books are my main addiction as well, but wife always defends it, pointing out that at least I don't drink it or snort it away.

Did I mention I love my wife...

Ron Scheer said...

Ha. Just built a new bookcase, and it's already full. My wife is relieved when I buy books because she buys more than I do and it makes her feel less guilty. (I will add that she reads them fast as she can buy them, too. An example to us all.)

AvDB said...

I hear ya. I bought two the other day just because I liked how they looked (will soon have a whole two-story wall of bookcase to fill, you know).

Sad about Borders. There's one near my parents I'm thinking of hitting up. Might as well save the books from having their covers snatched off.

Charles Gramlich said...

Angie, yes, we live and learn.

Darkstorm Dale, Your wife too is an amazing woman, just like mine and Paul's. We are indeed lucky. I do buy quite a few books on Amazon as well, and nowdays for my kindle. Thanks for stopping by.

Ron Scheer, My wife does not have the addiction, although she still reads faster than I do it seems. I'm running out of wall space for shelves now.

AvDB, yes, I do like to adopt books from the local pounds, I mean bookstores. I give them a better home than many do. I am listening to "Resonance" on my Kindle but it will take me a while to get through it. Enjoying so far.

G. B. Miller said...

On a serious note (well, as serious as I need to be), always watch what you spend at these kind of sales/closure.

My local paper ran a thoughtful column on their website today (2/22) on what kind of precautions you should take, include doing comparison shopping from a few reputable websites (and a couple of apps as well) before you purchase an item.

Story was run because CT has six stores closing and they wanted to warn people about avoiding the potential headaches that Circuit City did when it bit the dust, in which they jacked up price 100%.

They also closed out the column with the number for the Dept of Consumer Protection, just in case people had complaints or problems stemming from this closing.

laughingwolf said...

lol... put me in that 'holic' sphere too, charles! :) lol

it's a bitch when your fave bookstores close, esp those you've shopped at for years :(

everyone knows b&n is a wholly owned subsidiary of amazon, right?

nephite blood spartan heart said...

The one nearest my house (and thus the one I usually shop at isn't closing) but the one from my first ever book signing is.

And I'm right there with you when it comes to taking advantage of whatever deal's you can get.

Hanny said...

The Borders in my town closed a while back. It's terribly sad that all of these bookstores are going out of business. I know that we should be excited for the dawn of the technological age, but it feels like a religious institution has been deemed obsolete.

Charles Gramlich said...

G, oh I'm sure things like that do happen, and may have happened to me in some cases, but the books have the cover cost printed on them and when I looked at my reciept it looked like I got my 20percent off.

laughingwolf, I think I knew that. I'm not sure. :)

David J. West, come to think of it, this Borders was the sight of my first book signing as well, for Cold in the Light back in 02. Ouch, I'd almost forgotten that.

Hanny, I know. I hate to see it. I spent quite a lot of money in this store over the years and they were good to our writing group.

BernardL said...

LOL! Good ending, Charles. I went down to Jack London Square yesterday doing research for a scene and the huge Borders there is closed. It had everything and well organized. They hit the same wall Blockbuster hit. It's a bad economic sign but it would be good to keep in mind Borders like Blockbuster put a lot of small shops out of business. Small shops used to be able to weather bad economic times because their overhead was low and expense sheet flexible.

Cloudia said...

Cheap used books by the stack built Cloudia - living on a boat with limited space makes even a book something that eats space. Perhaps my brain is full-up too?

How has the web NOT destroyed your concentration?!

Aloha from Honolulu,

Comfort Spiral


Evan Lewis said...

Portland's downtown Borders closed in December (though we still have some in the 'burbs) and I, too, had to scarf up a few cheap books. I'd give them all back, though, if the store would return.

ivan said...

Stephen Hawking.

I don't know why some people are down on this wounded genius.

His take on the Universe was just about the most lucid I've read.

Paula RC said...

Can I join your group if you have one for Bookaholics because I'm one too.

Sorry to hear you're losing your bookshop. Get an old bus and become a mobile bookshop and writing group all-in-one. Oh, and Bookaholic daycare centre too :-)

I live in England so I'll have to join your group online :-)

Randy Johnson said...

My name is Randy and, I too, am a bookaholic. Recently, Jerry House said something that rang true for me as well. "If I never bought another book, and read one book a day, I could never get read everything I have that needs reading."

Now I'm paraphrasing here as I can't remember the exact quote. But that's me. People like us just can't help themselves. It could qualify as an addiction.

Randy Johnson said...

Oh, and my town hasn't had a bookstore in six years. It's forty miles to the nearest town with one(a B & N and A Borders; it's been so long since I visited, they are probably gone as well).

the walking man said...

I just wonder how you teach the children to love books when you will no longer be able to give them one that is printed, fresh smelling and never before opened.

I have to get to my local B&N today and see if there is anything left over. Damn this cold.

Travis Erwin said...

We have never had a Borders but I'm always sad when any bookstore closes.

Unknown said...

Sad news about the Borders closing. It's going to be interesting to see how technology will bring in similar but different places in the future.

I'm Jane and I'm a readaholic.

Charles Gramlich said...

BernardL, Let's hope we'll see some small shops come back. There may be a niche for them again. I'd like that.

Cloudia, It has hurt it pretty bad but I manage to escape it at least for a few hours a day.

Evan Lewis, I want my books and Borders too. Or some small book stores returning. That would be even better.

ivan, I've read a couple of his works and found them very approachable. I'm looking forward to this new one.

Jarmara Falconer, I think our numbers are legion, and we are in every country and every human population. Perhaps we should express our power at some point. :) Thanks for dropping by.

Randy Johnson, I know. I think in rare moments that I won't buy any books for a while and I know I'll have plenty of reading anyway. But it just doesn't happen. I grew up in a town like that, with no bookstore anywhere close. At least in modern times you can get books shipped to you, but I sure do still like just browsing.

Mark, it'll be like a Ray Bradbury story, with books carefully passed on hand to hand for the new generation. How soon before they forget the look and feel.

Travis Erwin, and in addition, this Borders was right on my route home so it was always a convenient stop.

Gaston Studio, welcome to the group, Jane. We are all kindred spirits here.

Lana Gramlich said...

If books were bricks we could put a 2nd story on the house, but I still love you, baby. ;) It could be worse. MUCH worse!
(Thanks for all of the books you bought for me, too. You're way too thoughtful and considerate. Love you always!)

Barrie said...

Our local Borders is closing, too. And has discounts listed on the window. I'm kind of scared to go in....I suffer from the same disease as you!

pattinase (abbott) said...

The one four blocks from me is closing too. 20% off was the best they could do and they were not honoring coupons. Said they were no longer Borders. Strange.
My TBR pile stands at over 500 books. Doubt I will get to half of them but at least they have a home.

Travis Cody said...

They only closed two locations here in Washington State, so we didn't have the benefit of a good pile to pick over unless we had the time to road trip to either Gig Harbor or Lynnwood. Neither place is all that far away.

But my shelves are full and Pam gets a look in her eye when I mention adding another bookcase to the library. Not that she doesn't enjoy books too, but it's a small condo and she's drawn the line.

Although, maybe I could sneak over for a small spree and then just drop them off in storage. Hmmm...

My name is Travis, and I'm a Bookaholic.

Charles Gramlich said...

Lana Gramlich, I even get pleasure in buying books for others, especially for you.

Barrie, but you may NEED those book, though.

pattinase, yes, books need homes too, and at least some love, even if it is only dusty love.

Travis Cody, that could work. A secret storage facility that only you know about. And you can use discrete funds to keep it hidden. A sure sign of bookaholism.

Spy Scribbler said...

Oh no! It's closing?! I am so sorry, Charles! That's tragic!

Erik Donald France said...

Sad on Borders, good on the book aquisitions. The rock books sound intriging but most of all, Evo-Devo sounds cool, too! If I didn't work most weekdays in a library, I'd probably see my home library busrting again; but after several moves, I vowed to hold the line as much as possible, at home. Anything extra or read only once goes to the library or a Half Price Books -- at least for now!

Steve Malley said...

Sometime after the cordons lift, I'll find out if my favorite indie, Scorpio Books, made it through the earthquake.

Borders-wise, I'm reminded of Barry Eisler's blog post, Paper Earthworks and Digital Tides. I'd link to it, but I'm not feeling that clever...

Anonymous said...

Yes it's a sign of the publishing industry's plight. Section 11 bankruptcy says it all.

Charles Gramlich said...

Natasha Fondren, tonight we are having our first "post Borders" meeting.

Erik Donald France, I used to trade in books but I've stopped that. I just don't seem able to part with them at the moment. Fortunately, Lana is understanding.

Steve Malley, here's hoping for Scorpio books.

Richard Godwin, not looking good for sure. Worrisome.