As you may have heard, Borders will be closing the rest of their stores. The small store here in my town, which had previously been a Waldenbooks, has been closed for a while now. The bigger stores in Louisiana will go now, of course, as well. On the level that every book addict hates to see one less place for a hit, I’m sorry to see the chain go. A quick memory of Borders that will stay with me: in February 1999 I had the unexpected pleasure of visiting the flagship store in Ann Arbor, Michigan. First, if you are a book lover – Ann Arbor is very nearly paradise. The things that stick in my mind are strange; that store had a sign that said, “Dogs welcome!” I don’t often think of myself as a bayou girl, but that one made me feel provincial.
Let’s talk about independent bookstores. One of the stranger things I collect is bookmarks; a couple of years or so on Facebook I asked people to send me bookmarks from their favorite independent stores. I got some cool stuff out of that, and heard of some new places!
Two of my favorite places:
There’s a little store in Houston, Texas called Murder by the Book. If you’re a mystery fan, prepare to spend hours! They have new and used books, and while I haven’t been there lately, I know that they have some imported books from the UK as well. Since I love UK book covers, that always goes over well. Murder by the Book keeps up an incredible schedule of signings; check their author appearance page to see what they have going.
When I visit the UK, we always take a day to go to London to the bookshops. The first place we stop is a comics shop called Gosh! This is an easy place to blow a budget. It’s a small shop, filled to bursting with graphic novels, kids books, and comics filed by issue in the basement.
This is just a starter – tell me, where do you like to shop? And do they have bookmarks?