At least as far as I can tell, based on the sale prices offered at the store in Brighton, MI I visited today. Sure the signs all say “Up to 40% off.” But the 40% only applies to greeting cards and magazines. Fiction is 10% off the cover price, along with toys…Philosophy books were 20% off. So if you’ve ever wanted to dive into Sartre or Nietsche…Romance was 30% off. Nora Roberts fans, take note.
Which means, even during a Going Out of Business Sale, in most cases it’s still cheaper to shop at Amazon.com and other competitors for books than at Borders.
If that doesn’t illustrate what brought Borders to its current sad state, I don’t know what else will.
I took my son and daughter with me for the 30+ mile trek. (The closest chain bookstore is a Barnes & Noble in East Lansing. But I usually just shop at the Schuler Books nearby. Schuler’s is a local independent chain.) Upon finding that deals weren’t really to be had, I bought an issue of the New Yorker for myself, a Kung Fu Panda book for my daughter, and a small Star Wars Lego set for my son. Each item for the kids was only 10% off the price. I figured they deserved something for the trouble of being dragged all the way to the Detroit Exurb of Brighton and back.
When we got home, my daughter asked me to carry her from the car to the house. Which is not like her. Then I felt her. She was very warm. After getting her in the house and taking her temperature, it turns out that she has a 100 degree temperature. So we’ll be taking it easy this afternoon. Cars is currently playing on the TV via the DVD copy we’ve watched way more than 40 times.
I’m sure Borders will have even more markdowns as the weeks go on. But I won’t be bothering to make the trip. I’m going back to finding bargains for books and other things the New Old-Fashioned Way: online.