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The Death of a Bookstore

The Death of a BookstoreIf you never worked at Borders, you may have already acknowledged the company’s sad passing and moved on.  If you spent several years of your life selling books and are still seeking other employment, however, it’s a bit harder to let go.  We know.

Today we would like to highlight a piece written by Tom Schwider, who worked at the beautiful Michigan Avenue store in Chicago (store 58, for those of us who identify by store number).  Store 58 was already scheduled to close long before the company declared bankruptcy, but got a one year extension that made the closing date fall only a month before the bankruptcy filing.  Tom highlights the death throes of a bookstore in honest, yet poignant, vignettes about people and experiences in those final days.

It’s a long read, but well worth it.  Settle in and give yourself some time with this one.  It gives a truer glimpse into the world of corporate bookselling and bookstore liquidation than anything else I have read.  A bittersweet memorial to the job we loved, and hated and, in the end, loved anyway.

Special thanks to Tom for sharing his words and allowing us to pass them along to you.

Read The Death of a Bookstore

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2012 in Other Writing

 

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Finis

The End

When I set up this blog, my friends and I were about to lose our jobs as booksellers, and the store we called home was about to close forever.  My goal was simple: to give us a place to continue sharing our love of reading, and to keep passing along the knowledge we had gained from working with books for so long.  I made a conscious decision not to discuss the specific company we worked for.  (I also decided not to mangle sentences in order to avoid ending them with prepositions.)  There was no need to discuss the company’s mistakes; we lived in their shadow for years, and haven’t escaped it yet.

I made an exception and posted pictures of our store in The Ghosts of Borders Past because I wanted to share our personal experience with this corporation’s downfall.  We are real people who took care of our books and had pride in our stores.  We also watched everything we had built through the years get destroyed in a matter of weeks.  Then we lost our jobs.  I still didn’t feel that I wanted to write about it on our blog proper, but I let the pictures tell the story.

Now the last store in the company has closed, and there’s not much left to say except goodbye, and we will miss you.  I still don’t want to use my blog for that purpose, but our friends at Word Hits have kindly hosted a fond farewell by yours truly.  You can read it here: Closed Book: The Last Days at Borders.

Word Hits has previously hosted my guest blog A Former Borders Employee Says Shop the Sales, in response to their post entitled Caveat Emptor: Skip the Borders Fire “Sale”.  We were also featured in their discussion of Books, Dialogue, and Community during Book Blogger Appreciation Week (BBAW).  We follow @WordHits on Twitter and like Word Hits on Facebook and think that you should, too.

If you want to know what the end of a once-great bookstore chain means to me, I invite you to click on the links above.  Here, we are back to reviews, interviews, and author events starting…now.

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2011 in Industry News, Updates

 

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