megwrites: Picture of books with quote from Cicero: "a room without books is like a body without a soul" (books)
[personal profile] megwrites
This article about Borders' fiscal woes comes as the least surprising thing I've read all year.

I've been saying for a while that Borders is sliding down the path of fail. It says something that I'd rather spend two bucks and forty minutes to get from Queens to Union Square in Manhattan (the location of the nearest Barnes and Noble) than go to a Borders that is, technically speaking, within walking distance of my house. By car, it's 4 minutes with good traffic.

Barnes and Noble just has more books and better books. The customer service is about the same, which is to say there is none. The staff at both places are more than happy to ignore any problems and questions you may have. Good luck getting someone who actually knows about books, because I don't think the people at either place actually read what they sell. Or, read at all. The prices are more or less the same. So it comes down to selection, especially genre selection for me.

Every Borders I've been to (and I've been to Borders in Tennessee, Florida, New York, Kentucky, Connecticut, and Massachusetts) has had the most irrational, utterly inexplicable, completely stupid SF/F section. And it seems other sections follow suit.

Borders' stocks writers I've never heard of, but don't have the popular series I'm willing to pay full price for. During my most recent trip there last week - the Boy and I wandered in to kill time while waiting for a movie at Atlas Park theatres - they had five copies of The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (not a bad book, mind you, but it's from 1997). They had none of the books on my "Buy As Soon As You See List". Didn't find Acacia by David Anthony Durham. Didn't find Green by Jay Lake. Didn't find Norse Code by Greg Van Eekhout. Didn't find Blue Diablo by Anne Aguirre. Didn't find Scott Lynch's rip-roaring Lies of Locke Lamora or Red Seas Under Red Skies (though, to be fair, I already own those). Didn't find Liz Williams' Detective Inspector Chen novels. Found neither hide nor hair of such authors as Nalo Hopkinson or Tobias Buckell, who are on that list as well.

But there were five copies of that one book from 1997, oh yeah.

Heck, I didn't spot C.E. Murphy's The Pretender's Crown (which is a rather addictive, intoxicating book, I might add) at Borders until that *same* visit. A book that came out in April.

Why do I know this? Because the release date for said book - which I was ready to buy hot off the presses - was scheduled for two days after my birthday. When I was guaranteed to have extra money in my pocket and intent to spend in the first degree. I checked the Borders first. Nada. Then I checked Barnes & Noble. Sure as anything, there it was. Displayed in an easy to find way, right at eye level. Saying, "Come on, Meg, you know we were made for each other. Give the nice man your money so we can go home together."

Okay, so it didn't actually say that. Because it's a book. It doesn't talk.

But guess which store keeps getting my money and which doesn't?
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