This Week's Bookstore Finds

Two trips to two different bookstores this week:

The first trip was to Empire Books, a small independent used bookstore here in Greensboro. It was my first time in the store, but I was rewarded greatly.  I found three first edition John Dunning novels, a first edition of William Gibson's Mass for the Dead (in fine/fine condition. This was the most expensive of my books, costing $10, worth over $100). I also found a couple of McSweeney's first prints, including Eggers' The Wild Things. Not a bad hall, even if they did raise the prices to 1/3rd of the original cover price (I say this with tongue-in-cheek, as the customer before me was complaining that the prices had gone up).

The second trip this week was to Borders, as they (once again) sent out a coupon to encourage me to spend money at their store. As in my previous visit, there was still quite a bit of "after Christmas clearance" - although they had moved a majority of the books marked 50% off back to the shelves.  I managed to snag Connie Willis' All Clear, and Darren Shan's Procession of the Dead for about 1/2 the cover price. I also snagged Middlesex book on CD for $5.99 (regularly $49.99). All told, I ended up getting $220 worth of books for about $70 which, while a great coup, begs the question, how are they making any money?

The answer, of course, is they aren't. Several of the employees were talking rather frankly about the fact that their hours had been cut drastically starting next week. One woman shrugged it off & said, rather resolutely, that she would just have to go back to waitressing.

In the YA section, the supervisor was lamenting the fact that their Tennessee warehouse had already started the process of closing and that replenishing their manga and graphic novel stock would be increasingly difficult - especially now that Diamond Book Distributors, a comics/graphic novels publisher, announced it would stop its shipments to Borders.

Everyone seemed to be slightly on edge, wondering if their store (our store) would be the next to announce closure. Regardless of the fact that Borders has not entertained notions of Bankruptcy, it sure seems like they're readying themselves for Chapter 11. That, or, they'll sell off everything they can and move back to being a regional chain like Books-A-Million.

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