Why should I be upset? I live in a town with a lot of options for bookstores.
The local Borders is in its last throws of life. I found out it was closing via a friend that goes to the mall (where else would the store be) more than I do. Then Friday coming home, as the bus pulled into the mall stop I saw the signs up: "All fixtures must go!" And I am not upset.
You should be! That is a major chain! They gave us books at great prices! The cafe is wonderful! It's a sign that more people should be reading!
Um, sorry, I'm not. You see in Syracuse, NY, we have local bookstores that will gladly take the shoppers in. And some of these stores are a lot more fun to shop in than a mega chain.
Let's start on James Street. You have two to choose from and they are almost across the street from one another.
One is Books End This is the place were we missed out on a great find. We found a copy of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, first edition, signed by Gary Gygax, and we decide to come back for it. It was gone. Never again! What I like about Books End is the amazing finds. I can spend hours on the floor next to the cookbook section. I have found Polish cookbooks that were written in Polish and English. I have found old fantasy titles long out of print. If you want the rare stuff, this is the place to go.
Just a little ways down the street is Books & Memories. You can never browse properly in a big chain store. Have any of you wandered down one aisle and realized you just spent an hour looking at titles. That is this book store. Sometimes its a mess. The first visit for me, I went into the basement and they were rearrange a section, it felt like a garage sale, but a fun one. I loved the stacks of books. When I brought my husband back, the stacks were gone, but you still had the feeling on going on a treasure hunt. If you want to lose hours, this is the place.
For you comic book lovers, so many choices! But back to the mall for the one that I always go back to; Play the Game Read the Story. They have a great selection of comic books, but the reason I like to go there, is the support they give back to their customers. Now that they are settled in the bottom of the mall, they have expanded their playing area. But its not just for playing RPGs or Magic the Gathering; NaNoWriMo met there last year, a group of people designing a comic book met there, they are willing to share the space with any creative people that need a workplace.
And more, some I have not had time to shop at: Seven Rays Bookstore: I love their new location on Armory Square. One of my titles is there! Lavender Inkwell; on McBride Street. A Gay and Lesbian themed book store. Second Story Bookstore on Westcott. People rave about the coffee shop.
And there are so many more, that are not connected to large chains.
All this makes me happy, why? One of the things I support is Shop Local. Which is a bit ironic for me, since I work for a nation wide chain. I love to be able to walk into a store and know that this place is unique, you aren't going to find another store like it anywhere. Even my favorite local coffee shop, Freedom of Espresso, they have multiple locations, but each location is different. Local stores bring more money back to the community. And its nice to know that you can develop a relationship with the owners, just by visiting. So at least in my city. Losing one national bookstore is not something to cry about.
I do feel sorry for those people who live in towns were the big chain bookstores forced the little ones to close. Now that the future of Borders isn't too bright, many people will find themselves without a place to buy books, that isn't a department store.
I know ebooks are HUGE, but there is something really nice about going into a store and losing yourself in the aisles. Maybe its time to revisit my vision of what bookstores should be like now. LINK