Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Unfortunate Liquidation of Borders

The end is near.

Starting Friday, Borders bookstores will begin liquidation. I've been working at Borders in Farmingdale, NY since December, and I'm sad to see it go for a number of reasons. While I'm happy to still have a job teaching at Five Towns College and while I'm grateful for all of the opportunities I've been given as a freelance writer, I'm going to be out of a steady job that isn't seasonal. That, as a customer put yesterday, sucks.

You know what sucks more? My favorite store is going to be closing. Before I worked at Borders, before I knew how sick the deals could get if you used your coupons correctly, before I even hit puberty, Borders was this mythical land of awesome that made me happy like no other store could. I grew up around the time that independent bookstores were beginning to close, so the shops that I frequented to buy Goosebumps books at the age of eight (Oak Tree Books, Encore books, etc.) were gone by the time I was nine. Barnes and Noble was nice, B. Dalton was okay, and Walden (mini-Borders) was serviceable. They had decent selections, but I often found myself walking in, browsing for a few minutes, and walking out with my purchase.

Then, my dad took me to Borders in Westbury. I got lost. While I'm sure that the big Barnes and Noble had as large a selection as this Borders did, I found myself amazed by the amount of books that I'd just never seen. I had considered myself an expert on the Independent Reader horror genre when I was ten, but hell... my mind was blown by that first trip to Borders. As I grew up, I found myself becoming more aware of the deals that Borders was offering. The coupons were so great when combined with the card that I felt weird about shopping elsewhere, as if I were somehow throwing money away (I guess that such deals could have played a part in the collapse of the company... whoops?). Even as a grown man, I was able to get lost in the fiction sections (and the expansive graphic novel sections) of local Borders, finding stuff that I couldn't help but buy. Now I don't mean this as a way of saying "Borders rules, all other companies suck!" because... well, I don't think that at all. Barnes and Noble has a very different atmosphere and selection, and I dig shopping there quite a bit. And Book Revue in Huntington is just a damn good store. I know a bunch of people, my fiancee included, that prefer such stores to Borders very, very much.

But hell, I have always just loved this bookstore, and it's heartbreaking seeing Borders go. So now that I'm working there, I figure I'll try to have some fun with this.

Over the next couple of months, I'll be posting blogs about the experience of working at Borders during the closing sales. Trust me, if you've seen any of the other similar sites... it's going to be crazy.

Starting Saturday, the blog that will follow the closing process of Borders, both my place of employment and my favorite store, begins...


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