Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sad Picture From These Times

That's a picture I found on the internet. It was taken the next-to last day of a Borders, in a location I forgot to note.

As you might know. Borders declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy and decided to close all its stoies. I had written about the bankruptcy earlier this year; one of my posts is here.

I remember when the first Borders opened in Indianapolis just before Thanksgiving 1986: Almost 25 years ago. Before it opened, Indy was not well served by its bookstores; most of the new books were sold at BDalton or Waldenbooks in the malls, and the selection was primarily best sellers and paperbacks.

I remember going into the new Borders and finding books from the Loeb Classical Library of the Harvard University Press. That was a pleasant surprise because it was something you'd never see in the mall bookstores. Although I never bought a book from the series, I was happy to know that they were easily available.

During the week before Labor Day, I made a couple of trips to two of the Borders in the Indianapolis area that were still open. Among my purchases were, in alphabetical order:
  • Bright Star, a collection of poems and love letters by John Keats, inspired by his love for Fanny Brawne;
  • Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov in a new translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky;
  • The Informant, by Kurt Eichenwald, about price fixing by Archer Daniels Midland;
  • Laugh Lines, a collection of short comic plays;
  • The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov;
  • The Secret Lives of Hoarders by Matt Paxton;
  • Red to Black, a espionage novel by Alex Dryden;
  • Snow, by the Turkish novelist and Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk.
  • And Spies of the Balkans, another espionage novel, by Alan Furst.
I'd like to think that my purchases helped, in their small way, to settle Borders' debts.

ADDENUM: The last 31 stores of the chain, located in 18 states, will close tomorrow, according to a story in The Huffington Post.

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