Yeah, that Borders, the bookstore. (Not my beloved and under attack borderland.) One Borders has become my current default location for new books, and it’s become a problem.

I remember going to record stores and pawing through the bins, milk-crate in size, with big, 12-inch packages of vinyl. As a medium, vinyl lasted a long time for such an ephemeral product. Records would be at optimum quality for only the first dozen spins, after that, the sound quality would begin to fade.

Those are the modern equivalent of audio people who look down their collective noses at the mp3 format because, although portable and durable, the quality is not exactly loss-less.

It was a perceptive analysis and a good bet. The last trip to Borders, the advertising push was for a TV shock political monkey and her latest book. Not exactly my material. Funny and certainly amusing, but not a book I want on my shelf. My library does contain a fair amount of fluff.

My long-term love/hate, on again/off-again affair with a certain classic of western literature is a testament to that.

The Borders I’ve taken to frequenting does less and less with literate material and it’s all about the carrousel in the main entrance with NYT Best Sellers Slashed in Price!

Occasionally, there will be good stuff and lucky finds, but more and more, the good stuff, if it isn’t on that Top Ten list, the good stuff isn’t there.

Last NYT Best Seller I bought, got it in the warehouse store. The price, steeply discounted from the “cover” price, that was about the same as Border’s “frequent buyer” club discount, or whatever the 30%-50% sticker offer was.

Price is about the same. B&N and Borders both successfully captured the “look and feel” of a bookstore, with in-house coffee shops. However, that doesn’t mean that the model is on its way out the door.

The record stores are gone. Wonder if the big chain bookstores are next?

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