Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday Salon- Picking at the Bones of Borders


The big news in the book world this week of course is the bankruptcy of Borders and the close of 200+ stores nationwide. Here in Massachusetts I think we're losing 6; we're keeping the big store in Downtown Crossing, Boston, for now and thank goodness for that. Some of the stores they're closing have been wastelands for a while; some of them haven't been. All in all there's nothing to be happy about. The book business loses shelf space, authors lose opportunities, consumers lose some choice and lots of people lose their jobs.

I saw a lot of people crowing on Twitter about the big sales coming up but I can't even bring myself to pick the flesh off Borders' bones. For one thing it doesn't make me feel good about myself to take advantage of it, and for another the indies need the sales more than Borders does at this point.


Here's a list of indies you can shop at as an alternative to Borders.

Remember too that many if not most of these stores do online sales, too. So even if there isn't one within an easy drive you can still shop indie if you want to.

On to more personal business now! Between the weekly blizzards and the illnesses my husband and I had, January seemed like it lasted about five minutes. February, on the other hand, has been S-l-o-w. Our new cats are still settling in and I think we're so focused on them that time has just been crawling, painfully!

Pandora, the more outgoing of the two, has been playing almost daily; she still won't let us pat her but she's interacting more. The other cat, Tanya, is still pretty shy, but we're working on her, too! I hope to have pictures to show you soon but it's not easy because Tanya likes tight little spaces where we can barely see her and Pandora is very jumpy.

Otherwise things have been pretty low-key. We had some nice weather this week but it's back to the cold and snow now. Reading-wise I'm working my way through Jane Eyre and also enjoying Heliopolis, by James Scudamore. It's not a 2011 release but I've been so bored by most of the 2011 books that I (tried to) read that I'm probably not going to worry about any more for now. I put down Swamplandia!, A Discovery of Witches and The Oracle of Stamboul, but I haven't weeded them out yet so it's still possible I may go back to them. Not likely, but possible. I hope to finish Heliopolis today and move on to another book from Europa Editions, The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine, by Alina Bronsky, next.

Well back to the trenches I guess. What are you reading today? Have a great Sunday!


More Sunday Salon here.

17 comments:

Mystica said...

I am reading Trilby by George du Maurier. Also finding it slow going but I want to finish it. The Discovery of Witches - am surprised you could not like it. I was very keen to get to it once I read a couple of reviews on this book. They were so positive!

Nana Fredua-Agyeman said...

I find it difficult to discard a novel, especially once I am half-way through. Reading the Clothes of Nakedness by Benjamin Kwakye for my Commonwealth Writers Prize Winners for Africa Region Reading Project.

Book Bird Dog said...

Hope the onset of cold weather again doesn't dampen your reading plans! Expecting freezing rain here, but life goes on...
Books, poems, and Japanese

bermudaonion said...

The spring like weather was so wonderful while it lasted! I'm reading Skipping a Beat by Sarah Pellanen today.

Booksnyc said...

I like your point of view of the Borders demise - I think it would depress me to go to one of the sales and watch the story be emptied. And you are right - the indies really need the sales right now! Have a great week!

Connolly-Ahern (Col Reads) said...

I'm reading Perfect Pig for a simul-blog with Desperado Penguin -- and Red Herring Without Mustard!

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) said...

I'm torn about going to the Borders liquidation sales. While it would be nice to get some books I've been holding off on buying at cheaper prices, I think going will make me sad.

Florinda said...

I know what you mean about "picking at the bones," but a Borders near me is closing and I think I'll do it anyway. I have to think it'll help the company as a whole, and that could mean saving the Borders in my town (which is, happily for us, NOT on the closure list).

I just finished a book last night and have no pending review dates for over a month, so today I can start reading something new and totally discretionary! I don't know what it will be just yet, though.

Literary Feline said...

Such sad news about Borders. I am fortunate that my local Borders is one of the ones staying open--at least for now. I feel so bad for those impacted by the closures though, employees, readers and book shoppers alike.

It sounds like Tanya and Pandora are settling in. It's hard not to be smitten with new kittens. They're so adorable and entertaining. :-)

I am not sure how much reading I will get done today, but hopefully I can squeeze a little in between appointments and errands.

Have a great week, Marie!

Space Station Mir said...

I have a Borders gift card that I should use soon-though the one I go to is the Downtown Crossing one, so no worries about picking the bones there. I'm currently reading the Belgariad by David Eddings, along with half a dozen 16th/17th century texts and criticism thereof.

Marce said...

I can understand not wanting to take advantage of the Borders closing sales, sad it is.

Alexia561 said...

Know what you mean about the going out of business sales. Very sad. My local Borders is not closing, but everyone seems nervous. Don't blame them, as the employees did their best but without upper management support, they didn't have a chance.

Great news about the kitties finally settling in. Sounds like you're doing everything right by giving them space and not pressuring them. Looking forward to pictures once they settle down!

Rayna Eliana said...

I just finished reading I Shall Not Hate, a Gaza Doctor's Journey. Quite the compelling read.

Suzanne said...

I have such mixed feelings about Borders. Both Borders that are near me were on the hit list. One Borders was a short 5 minute ride from me and I will miss the convenience. I'm collecting my thoughts about Borders. The last night "my" Borders was "Borders" and not the liquidators, as we were browsing they were taking fixtures and chairs out in droves. Today the lines to just get into the huge parking lot looked like something you'd see at the Super bowl!

Then having to deal with the ONLY bookstore near me going on of business (and of course there is always an online Indie to satisfy my needs), the weatherman is saying MORE SNOW! Just when I thought it was safe to go outside!

Thanks for sharing your week!

Zibilee said...

I also couldn't work up any enthusiasm to go down to the local Borders sale. It's not like we have so many choices for books here in Orlando, and to hear that another store is going down just depresses me. I wish we at least had one good indie to support, but we lost that one last year.

Kathleen said...

We have so few indie stores where I am. We have a really wonderful one near my house but it only carries children's literature. I really enjoyed going to Borders and will miss the 3 that are closing in my area. I've decided to shop Powell's online and save my bookstore trips for my trips to San Francisco, which has tons of great indie stores I can choose from.

Kriste said...

I'm reading Lady In Waiting by Susan Meissner. I'm so sad that the Borders in our neighborhood is closing. I was so happy when we moved here that there was a bookstore close by to go to. Now its closing. It was very sad to go in there and see everything marked down.