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Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Evil Place

My ill-gotten gains from the Borders liquidation sale.

I stopped by the Borders liquidation sale after work yesterday. To be perfectly honest, it was in part to extend the amount of time I'd be able to stay in air-conditioned comfort. I told myself I could check cookbooks (I decided to go for canning), and craft books, as well as magazines. Anything else, I can find for much better value online.

And that's really the problem, isn't it. There was a time, that when the BF and I didn't have any set plans for a Friday night, and we wanted to get out of the house, we'd head to Borders. We even christened it the Evil Place, because it was such a time suck. But I'll admit, it was mostly a time, not money, suck. I long ago went over to using Amazon for the times when I want to buy a new book. When I'm buying new, it's usually a hardcover, and or larger paperback, and from a strictly economic standpoint, I'd be an idiot to pay full price, when I can get them well-discounted online. Borders became my stop for pre-approving book purchases. If I liked what I saw, they often went on a list for future buying or gift-requesting. They didn't often leave the store with me (magazines are a different story. I definitely bought my fair share of magazines from that place.)

I'm actually pretty lucky - our Borders is one of, if not the, busiest stores in the chain in New England. From what I understand, their lease had some stipulations that effectively kept the other large chains out the Maine Mall area. With them now gone, if we don't have a Barnes and Noble up and running by Christmas, I'll be flabbergasted. So my chain bookstore options should continue.

But it's made me think about a few things. We do still have s0me local bookshops in the area - both general and specialty. If internet sales can sink one of the largest chains in the country, I think I owe it my indies to make sure they don't follow. Being a responsible consumer these days is hard. As much as I love the internet, and the globalization it allows, it does sometimes make me wonder how it's effecting us on a local level. I think someday we'll have shaken all these issues out, but in the meantime, it sometimes seems like no buying option is entirely a good one. You can either save money, or save local jobs.
I just hope we someday get to a point where that choice is no longer an issue.

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