Thursday, 17 December 2009

A land without borders

I'm an odd shape so I'm not much of a clothes shopper and I'm not girly girl enough to go for much jewellery (though any received over Xmas from Mr Plummy will be welcome) or shoes. Given spare cash, I'm more likely to spend my time in Forbidden Planet, Gosh, Borders or independent book stores around London.
So tomorrow is going to be a very sad day for me as the Borders group has gone into administration and it's shops are closing down.
Utterly shite timing for the staff too, rather like the poor Woolies people last year.
In case any of you are reading out there, I'd like to thank you for the hours I spent in your Oxford Street branch, scanning shelves for the excellent collection of UI design books, philosophy (still no clue about that though), art books and films upstairs. I also discovered a lot of my favourite authors in that shop as I spent happy hours going along the fiction shelves picking up that book or another. Even a rather boring trip to San Fransisco was made happier by the discovery of a great Borders there, though I realise that's not related to the Borders UK stores.
I was rather shocked the stores are closing as unlike Woolies, I always thought Borders had got the mix right with good store layouts, plenty of places to sit and read through the books and the introduction of cafes instore. But I must admit my guilty secret that I, in my little way, helped the demise by going to Amazon and for that I will feel shame.
I hope that things will work out for the staff and that they will find other jobs.


Planet Plumstead said...

Plummy, I loved Borders too, especially the one at Lakeside. It managed to inspire me much more than Waterstones or Books Etc. It had such a divserse range of goods all so well laid out. Funnily enough the Union Square Borders in San Francisco was my first experience of the store before it came over here. I shall miss it.

Cheerful One said...

My only memorable experience of Borders is the one on Charing Cross road. I confess I never liked it. I prefer independant bookshops though it's terribly hard to resist the lure of cheap books and free delivery from Amazon. Waterstones went up in my estimation a few weeks ago when I visited with my friend and her 9 month old, who was allowed to pull as many books off the shelf as she liked with nary a raised eyebrow from the staff. Don't buy books there: take your toddler to play!

Cheerful One said...

Oh, and I buy fewer books now that I haunt Woolwich Library. I'm hoping Plumstead library will cheer up a bit after the refurb, but am not that hopeful as the bloke who works the desk there is a terrible misery!