Thursday, July 14, 2011

BORDERS - A Eulogy

It is a dark, sad sad day in the world of book lovers everywhere, people. The news today from Borders is grim. The company that was going to invest and maybe save their ass pulled out. Now the only bidder is the company that liquidated Circuit City (yes, I wept for them, too). It goes to court on July 19th and a judge will make a decision. Borders will be liquidated.

Can I say I almost threw up when I heard this news?

I love Borders. I love the colors of it. I love the layout of it. I love the smell and sound and feel of it. I love the books. I love the friendly, helpful employees. There is NOTHING about Borders that I don't like - except its death. A death I will mourn with the fervor of a devoted lover unwilling to accept the loss of the one I cherish.

Where will I shop? Barnes and Noble? Gah. If I want to be treated like a lowlife cootie-bearing skank, I could go hang out with my mother-in-law. I can't stand the attitude of the employees in that store. I doubt they read anything but what's on Oprah's must read list (and even then, they only do it to say they have). I don't know if B&N employees across the country are like my local B&N snootmeisters. Maybe they're not. I'd hate to think that they were all like that. But where I am, they all wear chinos from Talbots, and foofy sweaters over prim crisp blouses, with perfectly preppy shoes and hair, and antique jewelry from their great-grandmother's grandmother, the queen of England. They probably spend more on their mascara than they do books. And God forbid you don't meet their standards. They're not going to help you. You'll be lucky if they acknowledge you.

Besides, the last few times I've been to B&N, they have not had ANY of the urban fantasy/paranormal romance books (be they adult or teen) that I was looking for. They didn't even have Sarah Rees Brennan's "The Demon's Covenant". They told me they didn't carry Molly Harper's books or Kim Harrison's Madison Avery series in their store (and, according to the robosnob who I spoke to, they NEVER will). In fact, they seem to have fewer and fewer copies of books on their shelves. Why? I can only say every time I walk through the door I'm attacked by some Biff/Mitzy clone trying to get me to try out their new e-reader. And every book I haven't been able to locate? Well, they're quick to share that if I had their e-reader, I would be able to get my books the minute they're available.

Thank God for one bright spot. New England Mobile Book Fair - an independent bookstore an hour from me. Yes, I'll make the drive. The problem? They don't carry every book either. And their books are sorted by publisher on shelves 10 feet high double layered and jammed in, so you have to hunt for the books you want with the help of the very nice but often busy staff, and sometimes you can't find them. It's either that or Amazon. And lets face it, Amazon is pushing that Kindle, too.

This is the end of books. Let us all bow our heads.

Oh, we'll still all be reading, but we'll be doing it on cold, impersonal, electronic devices. The book industry is killing itself. They're hanging themselves with noose provided by online mega stores that are laughing all the way to the bank with our money which they used to buy the rope (probably from China).

I shall weep and wail and lower my flag to half-mast for Borders and for all of us. The world will not be a better place without books. It's a dark dark sad day.

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