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Amazon, books, Borders, independent stores

No Tears for Borders

With all this sadness in the news regarding the passing of Borders Books, I felt I had to say something.
There used to be an independent bookstore at Town & Country Shopping Center (20th St./Camelback).
I don’t recall the name, but the lady who ran it was very cool.  I always tried to purchase the Maltese Falcon replica she had proudly on display.  Turns out she had won it in a murder-mystery dinner theater event, so, she wasn’t selling.
Back in the mid-80’s, she was advised the mall was ending her lease, so they could put in a hotel on the site.
She sold everything she could (keeping the Falcon) and moved on.
Then the mall put in a much larger, chain bookstore!
Just North of Oak on 32nd St. was The Royal Bookstore.  This was yet another independent bookstore.  They catered to a male clientele.  Books and magazines about cars, martial arts, electronics, computers, firearms, working with hand tools, hunting, fishing, politics, philosophy, science-fiction…you name it, they had it, geared toward men.  They even had a small adult section.
The old man who owned it was from Belgium.  He ran it with his son, who was an American citizen and had fought in Vietnam.  He was a gun-guy, and when his father retired, pretty much ran the store, himself.
The best thing about Royal Bookstore was it was small enough, that the guy would remember you, and your interests.  Just as a good retailer should.
I’d maybe not been in for two months, and I’d hit the door, and he’d say,”Hey Guffaw, good to see you.  I just got in these three gun magazines and two books on investigation.”
He also (before they were bought out by the conglomerate and jacked up their prices) had early editions of Shotgun News delivered, usually a couple days before regular mail delivery!  He even flew a Belgian flag outside the shop on the days he had Shotgun News in stock.
But he shut the store down in 2002.  He told me he couldn’t keep up with the big chains and the growing Internet market.  He simply couldn’t compete with Amazon.
And the neighborhood was in decline.
So, no tears from me regarding the passing of Borders.
When Amazon makes disposable Kindles and virtually all literature is E-friendly, then, there will be tears.
(Yes – I remember AMAZON is one of my advertisers!)

About guffaw1952

I'm a child of the 50's. libertarian, now medically-retired. I've been a certified firearms trainer, a private investigator, and worked for a major credit card company for almost 22 years. I am a proud NRA Life Member. I am a limited-government, free-market capitalist, who believes in the U.S. Constitution and the Rule of Law.

Discussion

10 thoughts on “No Tears for Borders

  1. I could tell similar stories. I did like Borders for a long time as they carried some tech books where B&N did not. I walked out of B&N with $600 in tech books once. My last visit there I found nothing.The good days are gone.

    Posted by North | July 20, 2011, 7:03 am
  2. Oh and I forgot to joke that Obama is taking credit for closing the borders…

    Posted by North | July 20, 2011, 7:05 am
  3. @North – *rimshot*

    Posted by Guffaw in AZ | July 20, 2011, 7:07 am
  4. Gfa, there is allegedly free software on Amazon where one can read his Kindle books on his PC and bunches of free ebooks to be had on Amazon.So cry me a river…. we're already there.

    Posted by Matt | July 20, 2011, 7:26 am
  5. @Matt – Then they're gonna need an aroma-therapy generator for Kindles to waft-out the scent of leather-bound books.I'm jus' sayin'.

    Posted by Guffaw in AZ | July 20, 2011, 7:34 am
  6. Borders used to be a friendly place with lots of books, where clerks were helpful & prices were discounted.Toward the end, Borders was merely a place with lots of books at full retail, and nary a discount in sight.I miss only their coffee shop. Sad commentary, isn't it?

    Posted by Rev. Paul | July 20, 2011, 9:29 am
  7. @Rev. Paul – It really is.

    Posted by Guffaw in AZ | July 20, 2011, 9:32 am
  8. I'm torn – that's pretty much the only type of book store anywhere around me now and I do love to wander there, touching and smelling the books. (And trying not to walk out with too many.) I occasionally order through Amazon, but I refuse to use e-books of any kind. You can't beat holding a real book, with its multiplicity of sensory joys, in your hand.

    Posted by ProudHillbilly | July 20, 2011, 10:36 am
  9. When I moved from Mesa to Phoenix in 1983, I lived in your neighborhood (25th and Hubble), and I visited both of those bookstores regularly, I didn't know the owner of the Royal Bookstore, but I knew the two gals that ran the store at Town & Country, I practically lived there! I am surprised that I never ran into you until after I moved from the neighborhood.

    Posted by Anonymous | July 20, 2011, 10:38 pm

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