Monday, December 14, 2009

Picking over the bones

One thing that anyone who regularly follows a football team will be able to tell you is that when a team is doing badly the stands lie half full but when a cup run or promotion beckons people come out of the woodwork. The chant “we were here when they were s**t” goes round on those occasions.

You felt like singing something slightly similar “I came here when the books were full price” at the vulture-fest that was the Borders closing down sale. Popping into the branch on Charing Cross Road you could barely move because of the amount of people looking for bargains. The sense was one of sadness for anyone who remembers when the store opened in a fanfare showing the future of bookshops with customers being encouraged to browse and sit and read books with coffee and take advantage of access to a great selection of US magazines.

All that was left of that experience were the empty shelves that used to house the magazines and the odd ground floor till system that meant you had to pay in the single place regardless of which floor the books came from.

Borders had its critics but with its demise and the associated Books Etc there will be fewer bookshops and that is not something to be welcomed.

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