Friday, February 13, 2009

In praise of Border's

I live in the navy blue village of a deep blue state, and we tend to examine and protest everything. Especially big chain stores, which are perceived as the death knell for the small, independently-owned shops that add to our town's character. That's why I signed petition after petition to stop Border's from opening on the main drag in my town.

I was wrong. I am so glad Border's is there. It's my first choice when I'm buying books, DVDs or music. Why?

1) They have an enormous selection. Smaller bookstores just can't carry all the titles.

2) They're one-stop. I can buy gifts and cards in one place. Also, when I don't know what to buy someone, I buy them a Border's giftcard. Who doesn't like books, music, DVDs or magazines?

3) The help is always helpful. We have two independent booksellers on the same street as Border's. I admit that if I'm not in a hurry, I like to browse in one of them. It looks and smells like a nice wooden loft. Customers in there take their books seriously and so there's always a good conversation going on. They also have way-cool wooden postcards! Alas, they aren't open as early, nor as late, as Border's. But the other one (Barbara's Bookstore) is icky and I will never go in there again. The staff is too cool for school. They actually scoffed at a friend of mine who asked if In Cold Blood was in stock -- apparently they didn't feel it was worth carrying, ordering or even reading. (And here I thought it was a classic. Silly me!) At least he got someone to wait on him -- they're usually too busy chatting with one another to be bothered. Worst of all, they recently had Sam Giancana's daughter signing books on 11/22 -- the anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, which she claims her father was involved in. That was tasteless. At Border's, the staff is always accessible and helpful, and I've never seen them mock a national tragedy.

4) Border's Rewards.
I admit it: I'm a loyalty-points whore.

5) They give local charities a chance. For example, over the holidays, I was able to have my gifts wrapped right there in Border's by developmentally-challenged adults from Lamb's Farm. It was lovely to interact and support people I wouldn't see otherwise.

Rumor has it that Border's is suffering in this economy, so SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BORDER'S. This weekend I may just hit Border's again. I suggest you all do the same. I bet they're an asset to your community, and if they disappeared, you'd miss them.

Book Mama, this one was for you.

4 comments:

  1. I love Border's as well.

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  2. The nearest Borders is two-and-a-half-hours away. :-(

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  3. Awwww, that was so nice! Thank you!

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  4. I too love Borders, but I find the prices better at Amazon (although I do have a Borders reward card for when I just can't wait). We have a used bookstore not too far from us that I like to frequent, to support local small businesses. When did buying books get so complicated?

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