Our local Borders is now closed. I went there a few days ago and it was a really depressing event. Normally a sale at a book shop is a fun and exciting experience, and this visit should have been a blast. Huge signs proclaimed “70-90% Off Everything!” in great big red letters. That meant I could buy a $200 collection of books for about $35. Indeed, I purchased many reference text and new release novels for less than $5 each.
But the joy I would normally have was not there. My wife said she felt like a crow picking over a corpse, and I have to agree. The huge, two level store was almost empty, there were guys carting off walls of shelving (“Everything must go!”) and even the counter computers had “sold” stickers on them.
“Where will I go for books now?”
That was what was rattling around my brain as I wandered the void-formally-known-as-Borders. Not necessarily to buy my armfuls of books, but for my “bookshop experience”. I am not going to buy into the debate over the value (or otherwise) of multinational corporations controlling what books we see on our shelves, but previously I knew that I could take a trip to Kotara and spend a couple of hours browsing the shelves, stop for a coffee while I read a magazine or thumbed a paperback, before making my purchases. I’m going to miss that.
Independent book shops are around here, but there are none in the big shopping centres. That means I need to get out my map and compass and begin plotting (Huh! Plotting!) new destinations for my adventures. If you’re a Hunter Valley local, let me know where your favourite book haunt is.