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Borders Books, Dead At 40

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the will-be-sorely-missed dept.

Books 443

theodp writes "There will be no storybook ending for Borders. The 40-year-old book seller could start shuttering its 399 remaining stores as early as Friday (store closing map). The Ann Arbor, MI-based chain, which helped pioneer the big-box bookseller concept, is seeking court approval to sell off its assets after it failed to receive any bids that would keep it in business. Hang on to those Borders Midnight Magic Party memories, kids!"

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Sad (0)

OwMyBrain (1476929) | more than 3 years ago | (#36809808)

The ad I have on this page is for 46% off at Borders. Guess they're already trying to dumb inventory.

Re:Sad (1)

taxman_10m (41083) | more than 3 years ago | (#36809876)

Borders would routinely email out 40% coupons on any one item if you signed up for their free "Border's card." It made the books essentially the same price as Amazon.

Re:Sad (1)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810382)

And about the same price bookshops pay for it in the first place. Why publishers put up with demands for supply at zero-profit (sometimes negative profit) terms from amazon I don't know, but it's led to a situation where I have a 45 minute drive to visit my nearest bookshop. I don't shop online generally, and refuse to use amazon on principle, so it all suck a bit. If I have to buy books online I tend to use AbeBooks, a collective of independant bookshops. At least that way my money goes to an actual bookshop rather than a huge multinational something-or-other.

Re:Sad (5, Informative)

SailorMeeko (204259) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810458)

I don't shop online generally, and refuse to use amazon on principle, so it all suck a bit. If I have to buy books online I tend to use AbeBooks, a collective of independant bookshops.

You do realize that AbeBooks is owned by Amazon.com, don't you?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon.com#Acquisitions [wikipedia.org]

Re:Sad (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 3 years ago | (#36809896)

The last time we had a Borders shut down here, I took the opportunity to stock my geek shelf with manuals. Got about 9 manuals for under $150.

As an aside the best book I saw when browsing the computer section was a 70 something page book on hacking that told you could be a 31337 hacker by learning how to port scan. I should have bought it just for the lols, but I thought at $3.00 it was overpriced, went for a map of Tokyo instead.

Took Down Angus and Robertson Too (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36809822)

Local bookseller Angus and Robertson, here in Australia has gone broke too. A & R has been operating in Australia for over 100 years. They bought the local Borders in an act of corporate hubris. Then the accumulated debts of Borders took down the whole thing. Very sad.

Re:Took Down Angus and Robertson Too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36810068)

Actually the Australian government's restrictions on parallel imports for books, not to mention the GST, took down the whole thing. They were forced to go through local publishers who charged high margins. Amazon, then BookDepository wiped out Big Book in Australia. They were never able to compete on range, and were between a rock and a hard place on price.

Haven't stepped foot in one for two years, but buy books just as often, if not more often.

The local specialist bookstores may persist, but I wouldn't be opening one.

Re:Took Down Angus and Robertson Too (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810370)

I thought my local Borders (in Perth CBD) was great as a place to buy computer books if they had the one you wanted on the shelf. Bought a couple of books from them (including a book on QT and a couple of Java books)

What a shame... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36809830)

Looks like I'll have to sell my Nook. I can't believe I didn't buy a Kindle.

Re:What a shame... (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 3 years ago | (#36809852)

boarders did not sell the Nook... Barnes and Noble sell the nook.

Re:What a shame... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36809858)

Looks like I'll have to sell my Nook.

Why? The Nook is from Barnes and Noble, this story is about Borders.

Re:What a shame... (1)

khr (708262) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810280)

Why? The Nook is from Barnes and Noble, this story is about Borders.

And that could be part of the problem... The two stores are awfully difficult to distinguish... I certainly have trouble. I know where the locations for a few are, but remembering which is which is hard. Even inside they're mostly pretty similar. If one closes, then I can carry one less loyalty card in my wallet. More convenient for me...

Re:What a shame... (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#36809868)

Barnes & Noble is still in business and it is not yet clear that they will suffer the same fate as Borders. I would not give up on the Nook just yet.

Re:What a shame... (1)

damagemanual (1072736) | more than 3 years ago | (#36809964)

Keep in mine, that even if B&N were to fail, the Nook supports a number of different file types, including ePub. Which can be bought from a good number of online stores. So it's not like it goes down with the ship.

Re:What a shame... (1)

damagemanual (1072736) | more than 3 years ago | (#36809974)

mind damn it, it's too early still.

Re:What a shame... (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810194)

Not to mention being extremely hackable and able to run stock Android. As an absolute last resort if B&N fails (probably not likely, but possible) you could just put stock Android on it and grab Nook and Kindle readers. The Nook reader to keep your old stuff (most of it isn't DRMed, and even if it is they'll probably be required to keep the key servers up), and the Kindle reader to buy new stuff. I'd still be sad if B&N died though. That would leave only BAM around here, and I've never like their stores. Local places are long dead here, and we never had a Borders.

Re:What a shame... (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 3 years ago | (#36809900)

I got the Nook Color... even if B&N (which as everyone else has said, is NOT Borders) went out of business tomorrow, it would still be an extremely useful device. Even without rooting it, it's a pretty decent tablet for $250 (I got mine for $180 from Overstock.com). And if you do root it, it's much more powerful than any other tablet I've seen in that price range.

It's their own fault. (2, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#36809844)

Honestly they were overpriced on everything. I have not set foot in a borders or a Barnes and Noble for 3 years now because of their price gouging. No I'm not a trendy yuppie who wants a $4.00 coffee while I browse your store trying to look trendy. Honestly they went for "upscale" instead of a model that would have survived..

If they would have stuck as a "mom and pop" ish look and had a big old book or used book section they would still be thriving today. Instead they took the "snobby U of M rich guy in a turtleneck" direction instead.....

Re:It's their own fault. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36809888)

Totally agreed. And the strange thing is that I love my local bookstore, which frequently charges full price for everything. I even go so far as to pay their $20 annual "membership fee" to get invites to their special events/signings/etc. Sure, I could get things cheaper from Amazon (and often do), but there is something to be said about paying to support your community. Unfortunately, Borders and Barnes & Noble really have no place in that community.

Re:It's their own fault. (3, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#36809914)

Your complaint, your characterizaiton of them and their customers, your odd notion of what is and what isn't "gouging" and everything else about the tone of your comment suggests that you need to get out more and meet more people. Possibly even some that wear turtlenecks. And it wouldn't hurt for you to spend some time running a retail store, so that your sense of "overpriced on everything" can get connected back to the reality of what it costs to rent, insure, maintain, staff, and market a walk-up book store in the age of Kindles and iPads.

The mom-and-pop book stores you long for were dying out harder and faster than Borders did, and the ones that survive do so because they've found things beyond the collections of books you mention to sell (mostly, they're transitioning to hybrid coffee shops, galleries, meeting places, lecture venues, etc). Barnes and Noble survives because they squeeked by with the Nook just in time to not get completely eaten by Amazon.

Re:It's their own fault. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36810030)

Strange... The 4 around here that have been in business for 50+ years are all still doing fine...

In fact the One near MSU that I used to frequent when I went to State is STILL there the last time I went back to my Alma Matter..

It seems that the "mom and pop" outlived Borders, for some reason, the mere existence of these shops is a physical proof contradiction to your speculation.

Re:It's their own fault. (1)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810498)

I don't know where your "here" is. I live in a rural area in the middle of the rust belt. Maybe the culture in your area will keep your Mom and Pa stores alive. It comes down to the culture of an area for M&P style businesses. Not so where I live, however.

Every bookstore that does new books within an hour of where I live has gone out except for Waldens (linked to Borders, so I don't know if they are going to survive or if they are sinking too) and two Barnes and Nobles.* Not for lack of trying. A store would start up, exist, then flounder.

There are two used bookstores, but they keep getting forced to move to more and more remote locations in their perspective towns. A new used book store opened up where a Waldens went out in a neighboring city 40 minutes away. The two existing used bookstores have niche demographics. One is located in a college town and cultivated a "We're the Hipster alternative to B&N" vibe. The other has catered to used romance novels and tea parties taking up 2/3rds of the store.

A tad off topic, but relevant to culture, my town has to choose between Wal-Mart and 7-11 style stores if you want groceries. I don't think a culture that can even keep a M&P grocery store going is going to take kindly to bookstores.

*Not counting Wal-Mart or text book stores that happen to have other books to fill out their shelves.

Re:It's their own fault. (3, Funny)

crawling_chaos (23007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810226)

the tone of your comment suggests that you need to get out more and meet more people.

This is Slashdot. That goes without saying.

Re:It's their own fault. (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810396)

I wouldn't say Borders was particularly expensive, or that Amazon is particularly cheap. Where Amazon dominates is reviews. When I am looking at any product, book or otherwise, I always go and read the reviews on Amazon. Other web sites are cottoning on to this now - people want to know if something is any good and value uncensored reviews from other consumers. If people are coming to your site to read the review then there is also a chance they will buy from you.

Brick and mortar shops can't replicate that. When it comes to books you can tell something by standing there reading a few pages in the shop, but that still tends to be less useful than a review from someone who has spent considerable time with it. Personally I like buying things in shops, even if it means I pay a few pounds more, but if I am spending £40 on a book I want to know it is a good one.

The other big problem with shops is the limited range. Japanese shops will stock everything. Not just a particular widget, but the entire range of said widget in every colour available. UK shops all tend to stock the same crap and you are lucky if they have what you want in store. I think they assume consumers will look at it as "I have a need for , this fulfils that need so I will buy it", but for me at least it doesn't work like that. I don't just want any old drain unblocker, I want the one I read about on a DIY forum which is supposed to be the best. It would help if every chain didn't stock the same stuff, and if shops still dared to specialise. These days they have all diversified to the point of being generic and not specialist enough to bother visiting. I can't count the number of times I have been disappointed on the high street because I couldn't find some seemingly common item for sale. Now unless I know a shop stocks it I just go online and order. Might take a day or two to arrive but I have to wait till the weekend to go to the shops anyway.

Re:It's their own fault. (3, Insightful)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36809922)

How were they overpriced? They sold at the same exact price any other brick and mortar book store sold new books at - the price stamped on the back by the publisher. You want used books - go to the Strand.

Re:It's their own fault. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36810034)

How were they overpriced? They sold at the same exact price any other brick and mortar book store sold new books at - the price stamped on the back by the publisher. You want used books - go to the Strand.

Actually, that's not true at all. Borders frequently charges MORE than MSRP for things (they call their own made-up price the "list price"). Simply go to borders.com and search on various items. Look at their "list price", then compare that to the actual MSRP from the publisher's own product page. For many newly-released books, they usually do charge MSRP. But for older books or for nearly any media (CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays), their "list price" will often be about 10% more than MSRP.

Re:It's their own fault. (5, Interesting)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810036)

Their books weren't overpriced but their cd's / dvd's / blu-ray's were obscene. When you see Border's charging $40 for a new movie and you can walk into Best Buy down the street and buy the same exact thing for $20, there's no reason to buy non-book items from Border's.

Re:It's their own fault. (1)

Zouden (232738) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810002)

In their defence, the "snobby U of M rich guy in a turtleneck" direction is usually quite profitable.

Re:It's their own fault. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36810200)

No, you really need customers who know how to read.

You can only look fly for so long in a bookstore before someone catches on....

Re:It's their own fault. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810238)

No it's not. Not when they typically adopt the latest change... I.E. buying online and the Ebook.

The turtleneck crowd adopted the Kindle fast. guess what that leaves... only the poor people to buy books in a book store.. and the poor people are turned off by the prices. Honestly, their prices on all non books were downright obscene in their markup often 2X of what best buy had them at.

When you target the rich demographic, you have to change what you offer to match what they are after... and Borders was so poorly run they ended up as a "huh what? oh we should do that too.." tail end of the crowd.

Re:It's their own fault. (0)

228e2 (934443) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810428)

Defense*

GO BLUE

Re:It's their own fault. (2)

arglebargle_xiv (2212710) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810050)

Honestly they were overpriced on everything.

Too true. I live outside the US, and can get books air-freighted in from Amazon in the US for significantly less (half the price, sometimes a quarter of the price) of the shelf price at the local Borders. That's a pretty severe sign of price-gouging.

Re:It's their own fault. (1)

sh00z (206503) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810058)

Not sure when they *had* a "mom and pop" look? By the time I got to Ann Arbor in 1982, they were already "snobby U of M rich guy in a turtleneck." But, in their defense, it was also the only place in town that stocked The Curse of Lono.

Re:It's their own fault. (1)

Hydian (904114) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810072)

Selling at MSRP is hardly "overpriced" and they regularly gave out coupons for large discounts and had sales.

Outside of technical books, I generally prefer going to a brick and mortar for books over a site like Amazon even if it does cost me 20% more. It is much easier to search through a topic or genre for a book that interests me when there is a huge shelf full of actual books then trying to do searches on the internet. I tend to buy books for pleasure reading on impulse, so again, the internet model does not fit my buying habits very well.

Re:It's their own fault. (2)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810260)

Selling at MSRP is hardly "overpriced"

It is. When you're a large, nationwide chain, you can negotiate with the publisher for lower prices and leave your unorganized competitors stuck with the MSRP. Amazon did with great success, but Borders didn't.

It is much easier to search through a topic or genre for a book that interests me when there is a huge shelf full of actual books then trying to do searches on the internet.

Some of the pirated books communities are making it as easy to browse through a subject as going through a bookshelf, and you can do it all from your home and for free. It's nice that you like the trip to the store and the physical artifact, but not everyone shares that love.

Re:It's their own fault. (1)

DuckDodgers (541817) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810492)

Borders and Barnes & Noble employ cashiers, people to stock shelves, and janitors and have thousands of retail outlets which require running water, air conditioning, heating, and local taxes in addition to the cost of running a website and distribution warehouses. Amazon only has the website and distribution warehouses, their business costs per book sold were dramatically lower. Borders probably did have special pricing deals with the publishing companies, but they needed to net 40% or more profit per book to cover their operating expenses. Amazon only needs 10% per book to cover their operating expenses.

Re:It's their own fault. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36810278)

Selling at MSRP is hardly "overpriced" and they regularly gave out coupons for large discounts and had sales.

Yes it is. The MSRP of blu-ray movies is around $40-45. No one expects to sell at that price, even small stores. MSRP is a made up number so stores can claim reduced pricing.

If they had any sense, they'd have done an advertising campaign comparing very select titles to their over-priced kindle versions in an attempt to get people into stores. Once in, a number would buy on impulse. Too late now. B&M stores specializing in selling items around time-wasters and entertainment are on borrowed time. Shame really. I've spent many a two hour block in new and used book stores.

Re:It's their own fault. (1)

damnbunni (1215350) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810330)

While an e-book reader with always-on 3G doesn't really make browsing any easier, it certainly makes impulse buys of books dead simple.

Re:It's their own fault. (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810374)

It is simply very difficult to shop for books online unless you already know what you want. For technical books and books from an author I know and like, Amazon is fine. For random "Hmm, I feel like reading something new" times, it's much nicer to wander around inside a store. I'll pay the extra 20% to be able to have shelves. real books that you can flip through a read a few lines, and a friendly person that you can ask about what's new and what they're read recently. Yes, of course they're trying to sell you something, but I went in to buy something... I'd just as it be something that another human being actually liked.

What I like about my Nook is that I can treat Barnes and Noble as a showroom. Go in, wander about, flip through books, talk to people, then buy on the Nook and keep everything in a small package. (I just hope that they keep track of where I bought the book, I'd hate to have my "showroom" close becasue no one buys books there anymore.)

Re:It's their own fault. (2)

Xest (935314) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810186)

The UK Borders chain closed down about a year or two ago. It's a bit of a shame because we really have nothing else comparative nationwide, perhaps the closests is Waterstones but most their stores only sell the latest romance novel or Jordan autobiography and shite like that rather than a useful range of maths/science/computing books. Short of going to a handful of cities like Cambridge which still have good book stores, there's really nothing- pretty much the whole of the North of England seems devoid of good bookstores.

I agree it was their own fault, they were overpriced, I did tend to go in to have a look because it was great for that, but do I buy the OpenGL SuperBible for £40 there or do I buy it for £25 from Amazon? Bit of a no brainer really.

But I found it wasn't just their prices, they relied heavily on misleading promotions- a series of identical kids books was 3 for 2, so we figured we'd get 3 for my neices birthday and despite them all being on that shelf when we got to the checkout it turns out that only random books in the series were 3 for 2, and they didn't tell you this and merely hope you wouldn't check your receipt to see that you'd in fact been charged for 3, and then when we go back into the store to ask why we'd been charged we get some pissy clerk try and pretend it's our fault as if we're meant to be able to magically guess which books on that shelf are part of the promotion and which aren't.

So I do miss them, and I love the likes of Chapters when I go to Canada (particularly in Ottawa where you can't travel for 5 minutes without bumping into another chapters store!), but when they ran their business like that, there's really little one can say, they were truly their own worst enemy. I wouldn't expect Amazon prices as I recognise running a store is costly, but charging £40 vs. £25 is really just greed, and there's no way they were going to get my business doing that.

Looks like.... (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#36809846)

...my local Half Price Books is going to be getting some new stock!

Thought ths had already happened. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36809854)

I was kinda suprised when I saw they had their own ereader. Suspected it would not be a good investment...

Re:Thought ths had already happened. (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 3 years ago | (#36809928)

The difference between the Kobo and the Nook/Kindle is that Borders partnered with Kobo whereas B&N/Amazon developed their own ereaders. From what I can tell, the Kobo is still going to be alive even if Borders turns to dust. Here's a nifty little article: http://techcrunch.com/2011/07/18/borders-may-be-dead-but-e-reader-kobo-is-still-alive-and-kicking/ [techcrunch.com]

No great surprise. (1)

RsG (809189) | more than 3 years ago | (#36809874)

They're competing with Amazon. The one thing they could've relied upon, namely the fact that there are a lot of older people who like books and don't understand the internet or computers, is a lot less true now than it was even five years ago. Hell, my mom gets most of her new book purchases online, from Amazon or elsewhere.

Take note: businesses can die in this day and age even when piracy is removed from the equation. Legitimate online purchases will probably do more to kill bookstores, movie rental and music stores than bittorrent in the long run.

Fahrenheit (4, Insightful)

improfane (855034) | more than 3 years ago | (#36809882)

Who needs to burn books and things that last when you have technology to do it for you?

I hate to say it but technology both gives you freedom and inherently takes other freedom away.

Books will slowly become the domain of the academic and public service, so they will gradually fade from prominence. With ebooks, you are at the whim of the ebook publisher, DRM, the ebook reader manufacturer and of course electricity.

Don't let that stop you buying ebooks though, I try own a physical version for important books. I see an ebook as a modern day convenience most certainly not an equivalent replacement.

Re:Fahrenheit (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 3 years ago | (#36809930)

With ebooks, you are at the whim of the ebook publisher, DRM, the ebook reader manufacturer and of course electricity.

Dude, if you get to the point where availability of electricity is preventing you from reading, you're going to be using your paper books for firewood or toilet paper. Either that, or somebody else will be stealing them from you for those purposes.

Re:Fahrenheit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36810176)

I could be wrong, but the sun is projected to have a fairly long lifespan. I doubt that any book publisher is going to turn my sun off if I'm reading a book that I borrowed from a friend of a friend.

Re:Fahrenheit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36810286)

At the whim of the publisher, no kidding?

It amazes me that to this day, there are still publishers that only publish in pdf format, which doesn't scale on an ebook reader. There is no way in hell that I'm going to purchase an expensive book that I have to scroll back and forth on each line in order to read it, or adjust the font to such a small size that I can't read it. (And I used to print out stuff with a 6-pt font so that I didn't have to use as much paper, so I can read a small font).

Re:Fahrenheit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36810464)

With ebooks, you are at the whim of the ebook publisher, DRM, the ebook reader manufacturer and of course electricity.

Dude, if you get to the point where availability of electricity is preventing you from reading, you're going to be using your paper books for firewood or toilet paper. Either that, or somebody else will be stealing them from you for those purposes.

I take it you've never been on a trip where finding the next electrical outlet can be unreliable.

Re:Fahrenheit (3, Insightful)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 3 years ago | (#36809984)

Yes. Buy a car, and you're at the mercy of oil companies, government licensing agencies and public infrastructure. But you'll get further faster than you did on foot nonetheless...

Re:Fahrenheit (3, Insightful)

arcite (661011) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810074)

Books will become antiques and collectors items. If one looks at the 21 century information society, books have no place in it. Once all current books are scanned and fully digitized, any human on the planet with an internet connection will be able to access them. This is a powerful tool that is not fully realized. e-book technology is till in its infancy. You're also fooling yourself if you assume that a paper book is automatically superior to a digital version. A paper book only has one copy, is probably printed on cheap paper, supportable to moisture, mold, insect, natural disaster, fire... you name it. Books are perishable goods and none too portable. Digital information is forever and can be backed up infinitely.

What did you say? (2)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810256)

Speak up kid! Come a bit closer so I can hear you... closer... closer... *whacks arcite over the head with the fully annotated works of Tolkien in hard cover* try that with your kindle. See, the blood and pieces of brain just scrape off while your kindle would have broken as the cheap plastic toy it is.

Whacking whipper snappers, just one of the many reasons books are better.

I got a bible from my great-grandfather that went around the world and survived two world wars on the front lines. Your drm'ed bible is not worthy.

Re:Fahrenheit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36810336)

And yes, ladies and gentlemen is the problem. When it's digitized... the nasty folks who like to manipulate things will have a MUCH easier time rewriting history when there aren't all those paper books floating around that debunk the shite they're spewing.

I think as a backup of dead tree books, digital is phenomenal... but as a substitute for a physical volume... it's rife with perils we haven't even thought about yet....

And a physical book is superior to the digital copy in one huge respect... you can read it without the need of anything more than glasses and a light source. Try that with a broken Kindle...

Re:Fahrenheit (4, Insightful)

improfane (855034) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810502)

You are absolutely correct.

A company would never remove books on your device, would they?

Books will never be re-written to remove dangerous paragraphs will they?

Your Ebook reader will never be designed for obsolescence will it they?

The online services of your ebook will never go down?

If your ebook provider goes bust, they will obviously have thought of that and leave behind the books behind for you to download, right? If they don't go bust they will never phase out the service, ever?

Your Kindle would never be stolen would it?*

Your books will always work on other eReaders?

* This point depends on my assumption that people are more likely to steal an Ebook than a regular book.(Do people honestly steal books?)
 

Slashdot no longer... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36809884)

...News for Nerds.

Re:Slashdot no longer... (3, Insightful)

improfane (855034) | more than 3 years ago | (#36809924)

It's more geekier than Reddit or Digg. You don't get long interesting comments on Reddit or Digg. It's a bunch of kids spouting memes.

Re:Slashdot no longer... (2)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810156)

Cool story bro.

(I couldn't resist.)

Re:Slashdot no longer... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36809942)

Yeah, in my highschool only the jocks cared about books.

Re:Slashdot no longer... (1)

SilentStaid (1474575) | more than 3 years ago | (#36809956)

How is a story about a bookstore, particularly one as influential as Borders not "news for nerds." Don't get me wrong, I'm all for most of the /. hate when it's warranted but I think that you're incorrectly assuming "nerd" is a synonym for "technophile."

Re:Slashdot no longer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36810064)

This is a story about yet another retailer going down in flames in the recession. Hardly "News", and hardly "News for Nerds". This isn't the end of books, just the end of one of many book retailers. Sheesh.

At least have an article citing the Internet or Kindle or some other technological advancement that led to the demise of Borders, and then it would be mildly appropriate.

brick and "mortal" stores (1)

JesusOfNazareth (193047) | more than 3 years ago | (#36809894)

Lesson among all brick and mortar stores: your selection will always suck compared to online stores. Figure out a niche for yourself such that your selection doesn't suck so much, or have an online presence that's useful. I've given up a long time ago on blindly driving to a freaking store in the hopes they'd have this one thing I need and lo and behold they don't. So then I drive to another store, and another, etc. And after two hours I'm like, what the hell is wrong with me, I could've ordered this online. More and more of your shoppers will have this thinking, especially as gas prices keep increasing.

Tips for a useful online presence: I can check if something is in stock before I get there? Sweet. Even better, I can actually pay for it now and you'll have it ready to be picked up when I get there? Double sweet. I actually still buy stuff at Best Buy for this reason. Instant gratification by being able to get something right now instead of waiting for UPS is still an enticing thing, so I am sometimes willing to pay some extra markup for that (but not too much, Best Buy can be horrid but catch a sale our have a coupon, and it's not so bad).

Re:brick and "mortal" stores (1)

heptapod (243146) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810044)

Agreed. Going to Barnes & Noble, not finding what I want, being told "We can order it for you".
If I wanted to order it, I'd go to Amazon or ABEbooks and I'd have it quicker than having B&N order it for me to their store and for less.

Re:brick and "mortal" stores (1)

Bigbutt (65939) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810178)

The B&N stores where I am will call the other "local" B&N stores in the area for the book I'm looking for, _then_ say they can order it for me if they don't have it. If it's in one of the other stores, I'll gladly ride over to get it. But if it's "I'll order it", I decline. I can order it and I don't have to come back to pick it up.

[John]

Re:brick and "mortal" stores (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810380)

Lesson among all brick and mortar stores: your selection will always suck compared to online stores. Figure out a niche for yourself such that your selection doesn't suck so much, or have an online presence that's useful. I've given up a long time ago on blindly driving to a freaking store in the hopes they'd have this one thing I need and lo and behold they don't.

Gifts? My wife likes books about subject X, I'll probably find something she will tolerate at B+N. If she wants book number #X of #Y in series of #Z then hellloooo amazon. Admitted we'd all be better off if I gave her an amazon or itunes GC, but that's not socially acceptable in my culture.

So, for birthdays, no problemo, nice distribution across the year. Calendar holidays are a big problem, I have not retail shopped between thanksgiving and christmas in some years, will not tolerate the behavior of other shoppers and do not like waiting in line. Either shop before thanksgiving or order online before 12/10 or so. So they have a huge staffing problem where perhaps 75% of their sales are immediately before xmas and mothers day... Maybe bookstores will have to go the route of the "haloween stores" and "christmas decoration stores" where they pop up on short term month long lease, sell out of the back of a semi trailer for a couple weeks, and move on. Pity books are so dang dense/heavy compared to haloween costumes.

won't be missed (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#36809904)

We've got a Borders here in town... And I won't miss them when they close their doors.

It's been a long time since I was able to go there and buy a book that wasn't on some best-seller list. And they've got more movies, music, calendars, and bookmarks than they have actual books at our store. There's a reason they're going out of business.

Re:won't be missed (5, Informative)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810018)

We've got a Borders here in town... And I won't miss them when they close their doors.

It's been a long time since I was able to go there and buy a book that wasn't on some best-seller list. And they've got more movies, music, calendars, and bookmarks than they have actual books at our store. There's a reason they're going out of business.

They would have gone out of business sooner if they only had books. They added all those other things in an attempt to get people to come in and buy something at least...

Re:won't be missed (3, Interesting)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810272)

They would have gone out of business sooner if they only had books. They added all those other things in an attempt to get people to come in and buy something at least...

I'll certainly agree that reading, in general, is less popular these days. And it must be hard to run a business that sells books these days. Especially with a monster like Amazon out there. But I don't think the solution is to become some kind of half-assed media retailer.

Start selling video games, or movies, or music... And now you're competing with folks who've based their entire business on that (EB, FYE), and the commercial giants like Wal-Mart who can genuinely afford to do a little of everything. You aren't shoring up your strengths with diversity - you're venturing into very dangerous waters populated with some very hungry fish.

Our local Barnes & Noble is doing just fine. Yes, they carry some bookmarks and calendars... And they've got a Starbucks in the lobby... But the vast majority of their store is devoted to books. Shelves upon shelves of books. They've got a huge section of very cheap used books... They've got all the current best-sellers... They've got a wide assortment of pretty much everything - fiction, non-fiction, fantasy, sci-fi, horror, romance, all of it... They've got knowledgeable employees who can actually tell me something about the books on the shelves, and help me find what I'm looking for... They've got less popular, more obscure titles that I can't find elsewhere (like at Borders)... They've got comfortable seating right in the midst of all the shelves so that I can actually sit down and read through a chapter or two and see if I want to buy the book... And they are genuinely embracing digital distribution.

In short - where Borders dealt with a changing book market by watering-down its offerings to the point where I had no reason to visit their store; B&N has responded to that same changing market by improving its offerings and becoming my first (and usually only) stop when looking for a book.

Re:won't be missed (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810110)

EXACTAMUNDO. I come from Santa Cruz and the borders there is the most useless bookstore EVER. If you're a yuppie you can stay basically eternally but the slightly scuzzy are kicked out rapidly, and they make up a big portion of scruz. The selection is shit, mostly just bestsellers as you'd imagine... and just a couple blocks up the street is Logos, one of the best used bookstores (they have a massive new selection as well) that I've ever been to. I won't just not miss it, I'll be glad when it's gone, and there's a chance for something useful to take its space. Every time I visit I'm amazed it's still there; it's never busy enough to justify a downtown location.

Re:won't be missed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36810334)

What I will - and do - miss is their original store in Ann Arbor, which was half a block from their current flagship store's location. That was on the short list of things I liked about the town, for their great selection of books and ambience as a hang-out. Those days were gone once they went mass market, though, and I rarely have any reason to go there anymore. But paper books in general are threatened as a business, and it's tough for even the best bookstores to survive these days. We have other sources for our information needs now, but I don't know what's going to replace the bookstore as a place to hang out, browse through some books, and maybe meet somebody new in the process.

Happening to book stores everywhere... (0)

martijnd (148684) | more than 3 years ago | (#36809920)

Visited a beautiful bookstore in the south of the Netherlands a few weeks back -- located in a redecorated church [inhabitat.com] it is the best possible place to have a bookstore. It has a great feel to it.

But its likely not going to last , last I heard the company has payment problems -- shame really.

Re:Happening to book stores everywhere... (1)

Edzilla2000 (1261030) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810168)

I was in that bookstore last saturday, it's a great place. The only downside (for me) is that they obviously mostly have books in Dutch, which I don't read.

Don't know (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810326)

The one in Utrecht has a large number of cash registers and still you frequently got to cue. Lets not forget that Holland has no Amazon, importing from the US costs a fair amount at the border in taxes, duty and admin costs and bol.com can't escape sales tax like Amazon can in the land of unfair competition.

ABC also moved to a bigger location in the heart of amsterdam (Spui) and has 2 bookstores in spitting distance.

As for the post below, a dutch bookstore selling mostly dutch books... gosh... the SHOCK! Don't ever go to France... they speak FRENCH!

Help me gauge my happiness/sadness/outrage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36809978)

Why is this big box store treated with such respect when others like Best Buy are treated with disdain? They're big, faceless corporate run mega-stores. If you were to blindfold me and place me in the middle of a Barnes and Noble or Borders it would be a 50/50 guess which store I'm in.

I suppose it's the same faulty logic as those who lambast Microsoft but pretend Apple is altruistic. If you want to make me sad over a corporate run bookstore, when Half Price books closes then I'll get a little teary eyed.

Re:Help me gauge my happiness/sadness/outrage (1)

taxman_10m (41083) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810154)

My impression was that Borders focused more on non-books than B&N. They usually had a music section, dvd section, probably other stuff. I didn't wander much past the books. Never understood who would by a DVD set at Borders when usually there was an adjacent store like Best Buy where you could get it for a little less (not to mention Amazon for a lot less).

Re:Help me gauge my happiness/sadness/outrage (1)

sh00z (206503) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810166)

If you were to blindfold me and place me in the middle of a Barnes and Noble or Borders it would be a 50/50 guess which store I'm in.

Go by the smell. In my experience, after you get past the coffee scent, Borders has some undertones of cardboard, where B&N is more "plastic-y."

Re:Help me gauge my happiness/sadness/outrage (1)

JBMcB (73720) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810468)

It affects me because the one near my house had the best computer book selection I've ever seen. Seriously - they had at least two dozen racks of computer books, divided up into fine-grained categories - algorithms, graphics programming, MS languages, C, Basic, MacOS, Windows, Unix, Embedded, etc...

Another location, not too far away, has an incredible magazine selection. They carry scholarly journals, foreign language magazines, specialty art and architecture magazines, two racks of newspapers from every major city in the US. During it's short publication run it's the only store I've seen that carried Blacklisted! 411 - a very obscure 2600-style hacker mag.

I'll miss 'em.

WTC Borders (1)

chelsel (1140907) | more than 3 years ago | (#36809998)

My favorite Borders was the Borders in the World Trade Center. I was working in the financial district as a programmer and I used to go there on my lunch breaks every few days to buy books on programming and finance. Borders had a better technical book selection than Barnes & Noble or Waldenbooks.

Re:WTC Borders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36810078)

While it varies from store to store (especially recently, since Borders started reducing inventory), they still do tend to have a better science and techie book selection. But I'll still not forgive them for when they quit carrying Autosport magazine.

You've got mail (1)

paugq (443696) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810024)

Does this mean a sequel to You've got mail [imdb.com] is coming? "You've got mail - The revenge of sweet blondie"?

they expanded too quickly during the last boom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36810028)

Too many stores in high-rent districts. Their shoppers were willing to drive out to the 'burbs and stay awhile, they didn't need to be in fashionable city neighborhoods.

They shouldn't have bought Waldenbooks.

Their customers had to pay sales tax, and Amazon's don't. Yeah, that situation is unfair and not their fault.

They didn't do much that I could see to distinguish themselves from Barnes and Nobles, instead it was pretty much copy-cat, with usually a somewhat weaker selection. But I admit I don't have a lot of good merchandising ideas that would've helped them.

Their rewards program wasn't nearly as good as Barnes and Nobles'. I eventually stopped presenting my card at checkout and started saying I wasn't a member.

Some of the stores trained their cashiers to harass customers into buying a book for kids, or a bag of coffee for the troops, etc. Once when I asked, the price of those things turned out to be 6-8 bucks. No thanks, Borders can donate their own money to these causes, and I'll go home and do the same (and get a tax credit).

Over the past 2-3 years many stores started cutting back on inventory, often replacing floor space with greeting cards, toys, and other fluff. That meant a weaker selection. By this time, though they were already in their death spiral, so such steps were probably necessary.

This all sounds like bitching but I did appreciate the chain and did go and buy stuff from them rather often. Browsing Amazon.com and waiting for UPS isn't the same. Oh well.

Borders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36810070)

Oh them. I think I read about them on my Kindle.

Sales Tax (2)

rhadc (14182) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810084)

The lesson I take from this is that the local retail is doomed unless we figure out how to address the online tax advantage.

Borders is a high profile example of a brick and morter shop that can't compete in an environment where its primary competition has an unnatural advantage. Amazon doesn't pay sales tax. Sure, it had some missteps along the way, like having Amazon run its web sites. But if Borders can't compete, do you think Mom and Pop retailers will? This impacts not or future local retailing environment, but local employment, too. Sure, online stores can be more efficient, but even a local preference for local retail won't compensate for a 5-10% price penalty.

rhadc

Re:Sales Tax (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810118)

The US could introduce a goods and services tax at the federal level and pass the revenue to state (and ultimately) local governments.

Re:Sales Tax (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810216)

The US could introduce a goods and services tax at the federal level and pass the revenue to state (and ultimately) local governments.

Which would raise the price of everything, and do nothing about the online advantage.

Buying from Amazon generally means you'll pay no sales tax. If the Feds were to add a goods and services tax, everyone would pay that AND the sales tax.

Except for online retailers, of course.

Or do you really think the States will do away with their sales taxes just because the Feds hand them some free money?

Re:Sales Tax (1)

Intron (870560) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810244)

The US could introduce a goods and services tax at the federal level and pass the revenue to state (and ultimately) local governments.

Businesses that have offices in multiple states are already used to filing lots of state paperwork. There's no reason to get the fed involved - just charge sales tax for goods shipped to the states that collect it. Its not a very big lookup table. Then the businesses send a form and a check to each state every quarter - that's potentially 200 extra items of work per year. Nothing for Amazon. Software and services to handle this for small businesses would appear overnight if it was to much work to do by hand.

Re:Sales Tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36810394)

It's not that simple. Each government level and geographical area have their own taxation levels and rules, if any. The simple UK & Europe VAT model will not work in the US. Different items carry different rates of tax too, and some areas don't have it at all.

You need to think of the USA as 48 separate countries (the other two aren't particularly relevant, sorry) with their own laws and tax systems. It cannot change, it's in the Federal law that states are allowed to handle their own tax situations, for better or worse.

People aren't going to bookshops to save sales tax, they're not going because they have a very limited selection. In the olde days we didn't have online access to millions of titles, so a big bookshop was better than a small local one. If you go looking for a specific title, if it's not a best selling blockbuster, chances are B&N and Co won't have it. Repeat a few times and people simply give up and use online resources instead.

Re:Sales Tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36810240)

The lesson I take from this is that the local retail is doomed unless we figure out how to address the online tax advantage.

Borders is a high profile example of a brick and mortar shop that can't compete in an environment where its primary competition has an unnatural advantage. Amazon doesn't pay sales tax. Sure, it had some missteps along the way, like having Amazon run its web sites. But if Borders can't compete, do you think Mom and Pop retailers will? This impacts not or future local retailing environment, but local employment, too. Sure, online stores can be more efficient, but even a local preference for local retail won't compensate for a 5-10% price penalty.

rhadc

Sure. Lobby the government, yet again, to protect obsolete business models against any innovation and change. Lately that seems to be one of their main functions. Can you see any possible downside to this in the long run?

This is the 21st Century. None of us has an innate right to make a (subsidized) living the way our grandparents did. Doesn't matter if our grandparents were small farmers, cowboys, made sealing wax or buggy whips. May as well get over that idea, because if we continue to fight it, other countries will pass us like we're standing still.. because we are.

Re:Sales Tax (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810246)

It's not just the tax. Even if they do pass some law that clusterfucks the online retailers with having to deal with every town in Podunk County, West Bumblefuck, they still can't beat the websites' biggest advantage: selection. One website can list the inventory for a ton of warehouses/distribution centers (a la Amazon) whereas the B&Ms are limited to what's there. Which gives the latter the edge when you need your widget right now... assuming, of course, that it's in stock and you don't have to order it online, anyway...

Re:Sales Tax (1)

khr (708262) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810450)

Amazon doesn't pay sales tax

In some places they do... I'm in New York and my Amazon orders certainly do have New York sales tax added. Bummer my Oregon state billing address doesn't override that... But oh well, that's just one of the costs of living in New York City...

data peddler never was a good biz model (3, Interesting)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810108)

Technology caught up with their distribution system.

But I don't think much of the long term prospects of the likes of Apple's music business and Amazon either, at least not in its current form. Sure, they're relatively hot and new now. But fundamentally, they're still all about charging customers on a per copy basis. We won't settle for less than the best forever. And I don't think the Netflix model is it either.

I think the future is the digital public library.

Shuttering (1)

GrBear (63712) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810122)

The 40-year-old book seller could start shuttering its 399 remaining stores as early as Friday

Seriously, what's with the recent rise in usage of the word 'shuttering'. I mean, I'm gay and all.. but I'm not THAT gay to use the word shuttering.

They did it to themselves (5, Funny)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810124)

They sold too many web development books in the 90's to Amazon employees.

Borders Played a Pivotal Role in My Career (4, Interesting)

Phoenix666 (184391) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810158)

After I got out of grad school in the early nineties I discovered that having an advanced degree from one of the top 5 universities in the country didn't count for squat. After 18 months' fruitless search I got a job at a hedge fund fiduciary. 8 awful months later the giant hedge fund Long Term Capital Management blew up and nearly took the US economy with it then & there. People invested in hedge funds freaked, pulled out all their money, and I was without a job again.

I got a temp job in Northern Trust Bank's Private Banking division working up investment plans for rich people. The Private Banking division used Excel, of course. It was slow, and repetitious.

So I spent evenings and weekends sitting in Borders taking notes from their books on Visual Basic and VBA in order to automate the process. I couldn't afford to buy the books, I was so poor, and the library only carried books on Fortran and Basic and COBOL. I taught myself how to program that way (yes, I know it was only Visual Basic), and wound up reducing the turnaround time of the Private Banking division from 2 wks to an hour and a half. The division manager promptly fired me and stole my work, but I had found a new window of opportunity. I did more VB work, then added MS Access, then transitioned to VBScript during the dotcom days.

I switched to LAMPP in 1998 and haven't looked back. But it was those days & nights in Borders that allowed me to chart a course for a relatively stable career, given the turbulence of IT and Internet over the past decade. I dunno if their business model has any future, but for me then it was the right place at the right time.

RIP Borders

Re:Borders Played a Pivotal Role in My Career (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36810440)

So I spent evenings and weekends sitting in Borders taking notes from their books on Visual Basic and VBA in order to automate the process. I couldn't afford to buy the books, I was so poor

Thief! Pirate! Terrorist! You killed the bookstore industry!

What will all the Doctors do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36810160)

What will all the Doctors do?
They will have to form a charity and call it "Doctors without Borders"

When there isn't any more blood in the stone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36810222)

Borders suffered the problem that many stores seem to suffer. If you're not the online giant (Amazon) or don't have an overwhelming physical footprint (Barnes & Nobles) you just can't go for the mass appeal selling. I think I purchased a total of 2 books at Borders because they had a better selection of a very niche market I'm interested in, they ask me if I want to sign up for their discount club, and I say why not. WORST MISTAKE EVER. Upwards of 40 emails a week with significant (40~60% off) coupons to come in and purchase something. If they're able to make those kinds of discounts on one item it typically means that they're marking everything up by either half that amount or more.

I acutally love going to the independent bookstore nearby because I know that the 5 niches that I peruse are gaurnteed to have decent selections and even some things I hadn't considered buying.

Already dead in the UK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36810224)

Borders went out of business in the UK at the end of 2009. I lived ten minutes walk from a big store for about five years. I buy quite a few book but until their last day when they had 90% off on the little stock they had left and I picked up a few bargains, I only ever bought one book from there and that was because someone gave me a book voucher and it was the easiest place to spend it. Anything else I wanted was significantly cheaper on Amazon. Extrapolate that mindset by most of their entire target market, I guess that's why they went out of business and are now doing so in the US. They also stocked CDs and DVDs but I honestly wonder how much they sold given how high they priced them even compared to other bricks and mortar stores. I remember looking at some DVD boxsets in there once and thinking that the only people who would buy them at that price must be completely unaware that other DVD retailers existed.

Hard to find stuff (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810252)

I mainly shopped for DVDs in borders stores but lately they have reorganised and made it really difficult to find stuff. I could never work out their system so I wound up doing alphabetical searches in each small category. It would be easier if they just had a big stack of titles, alphabetically sorted. I assume this was some MBA inspired technique to get me to discover something else to buy in the other categories, or to spend more time in the store. In practice I couldn't find what I wanted so I went to JB.

Australian stores are already closed. (1)

the_mind_ (157933) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810258)

The Borders shops in Australia have already closed down in the last few weeks.

I don't know how they lasted for so long. They were 25% more expensive then other book stores, and at least 50% more expensive than online book shops. Not to mention their huge shops in expensive shopping centers. Including American style in-store coffee shop (who wants to walk through a book store to get coffee? stupid people, thats who).

But hey, I got some cheap networking gear, a label printer and some cool comic-style posters for a pathetically low price.

Good Riddance to Bad Business (3, Interesting)

SmarterThanMe (1679358) | more than 3 years ago | (#36810318)

Doesn't surprise me. I worked for a chain bookstore (not Borders) when I was at uni, and they put me in the Motivation and Health section. By the way, let me introduce myself, I'm a teacher who specialises in working with gifted kids, and one of the things that I'm really good at is picking good, relatively advanced books for young kids who are beyond the books that their librarians and teachers use for other children. I read a lot of kids and YA fiction, and textbooks and educational texts, of course, but also scifi, fantasy and historical fiction, as well as non-fiction books in a number of areas. Notice something missing? I don't fucking read Motivation or Health! I can't even take those fucking books seriously, let alone sell them!

This wouldn't have been a problem, if it weren't for the rigidity of the PHB's that ran the place. My role was to stand by a shelf, and only help people who needed help with that section. One of my colleagues' spot was to stand by the self-service information computer behind a shelf, and almost literally jump out at people if they were having trouble with the search functionality (which only googled the bookstore's public website). As much as possible, I wasn't to move, and I had to do things as quickly as possible. One day, I spent 20 minutes upselling ~$150 worth of photo books and Australian kids' books to a tourist and I got a formal warning for walking away from my section and leaving it in the hands of two of my colleagues.

Let's talk about my colleagues, though. There was a guy hired at the same time as me who I was speaking to one day... Me: "So, what books do you read?"; Him: "Oh, I don't."; Me: "You don't... Read books?"; Him: "Yeah, they're boring." Awesome. He was Employee of the Month at some point after I left. I haven't been back there in a while, but I think he's probably still working there.

Their buying policy was brilliant, also. They bought hundreds of copies of things that they thought fit with the Australian psyche, i.e., obsessed with sport. So we were always left with hundreds of copies of the latest ghost written biography of some cricketer that we could literally not give away in the end. These books were always such an albatross around our necks that our PHB's were insisting that we keep them on the shelves, and sending newer, more popular books to storage or to the warehouse. If you wanted one of those newer more interesting books? You have to wait for it to be retrieved (a couple of days, usually), but please take a heavily discounted the 3rd volume of Warwick Smythe's test cricket antics that he paid someone from South Africa to write.

I shouldn't complain too much though. The 50% employee discount was awesome. Most of the long term employees were great people. Some of the supervisors were genuinely cool people. I laugh as I remember back to thinking back over having to help people "find a book, it has like a blue cover and words, I think", or "choose a motivation book for me, I don't know which one to choose."

These book chains are dying because they're trying to do business as if nothing has changed. They're hiring the cheapest, dumbest possible labour when people are only willing to go to a bookstore and pay a bit more than they would at Amazon because they want to talk to someone knowledgeable and well-read about books.

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