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February 18, 2011


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Joanna, I like browsing especially with coffee in hand. Nothing like finding something interesting, and by paging through it, I can decide if I want it in digital or paper. Most times now I rather the convenience of having it on my iPad. Not a big fan of the lock down on the digital copy, but so far the convenience of carrying a ton of books on one device out weighs that. Some books, though, are definitely keepers in paper. And I've actually bought both paper and digital for the same title. Gotta love technology.


Not one, but two of my local Borders are closing. It's ironic that I should be so horrified by this because I just got a Kindle for my birthday. It's a nice convenience, but there is truly nothing like browsing a bookstore and just looking at all the physical books that are available there.


Very well put, Zombos. According to an article in my local newspaper last week, BORDERS is about to go bankrupt. They are apparently getting an infusion of money, but that'll probably be enough just to pay the bills. Until a brick n' mortar store can offer books at the same price as Amazon, it will only be a matter of time before they're mostly gone. I feel sickened every time I walk into a Borders or Barnes and Noble these days and see people treating it like it was a flippin' library. All you have to do is take a look at the empty tables in the Starbucks Cafe area, at the stacks of thumbed-through, unpurchased magazines and books. Not only that, people vampirize the electricity to keep their laptops running while they do their homework slurping up a fat and calorie-laden latte. Think that doesn't cost money? I'm sure Starbucks doesn't mind. I remember getting shagged off the real newsstands years ago just for spending a couple of minutes sneaking a peek at the latest monster 'zines on the racks (I wasn't allowed to buy them!). I say to bookstores: get rid of the the comfy chairs and tables -- "browsing" can be done without planting your kiester in an armchair for two hours, and either charge for using juice or cover the electrical outlets. I even got so ticked one day that I asked my cashier (excuse me, "sales associate") about the plunder of his store and he answered something to the effect of: "Oh, I know. But management has a real liberal policy about that kind of thing". After hearing that, it suddently became quite clear to me what the real problem is.


Doc, I like being able to read on my iPad because of its portability, but I love to be able to page through books, rifle the shelves, and jump from book to book easily, reading a little here and there. Not an easy thing to do digitally.


Those used (sorry, pre-read ;) bookstores are wonderful. I have a large one a ways off, but lots of shelves to browse through. I agree, we'd be in deep doo doo if the used bookstores floundered.

Will E.

One of my local Borders is closing, and I will not miss one particular clerk there who was the loudest and most condescending and clueless idiot I've ever come across in a bookstore. The checkout line could be five people deep and he'd be saying something inane to the customer trying vainly to back away from him, or begging you to sign up for their rewards program, and you could hear him on the other side of the store. The one time I had him help me find a book, he wouldn't stop talking, chattering endlessly - and then, he *couldn't* find what I was looking for, ignored my suggestion as to where it might be, and kept yapping. Finally I just happened to notice a display and found the book there myself. How in the world he kept his job there I have no idea!

That said, as long as my town keeps its handful of used bookstores in business - and I have every reason to believe it will - I'll be happy.

Dr. Gangrene

Man I feel ya. They're closing the Borders near my work, too. I just walked there on my lunch hour, matter of fact, and picked up a present for my son (who turns 20 tomorrow). As I was walking back I thought to myself this may be the last such trip i take.

Reminds me of the mom and pop video shops closing. Books are becoming more obsolete daily. People are turning more and more toward electronic media. Same thing with dvds. Netflix and redbox and hulu and who knows what else is killing the field in the name of progress.

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