Paid Author Events: The Future of Independent Bookstores?

It was a humid Wednesday afternoon, and I was outside BookCourt with a microphone.

That morning, a New York Times story about paid author events ignited a firestorm on Twitter. Some independent bookstores, hurting for cash, were now charging admission for a reading. Sometimes it was as little as $5. Sometimes it was the price of the hardcover for an off-site event. What had once been free was now the cost of a pint at happy hour.

These developments began in April. In Colorado, Boulder Book Store announced that it would charge $5 a head to attend an event. In California, Kepler’s demanded a $10 gift card to admit two people through the new paywall.

Was this reasonable? Or was this a form of gouging? Wasn’t the purpose of an author event to give the customer a chance to sample the goods? And would such a practice, as Ann Patchett suggested, scare off those who didn’t have the clams for a hardcover?

And why had nobody talked to the customers about this?

The time had come to sweat in the sun and ask every person leaving BookCourt to take part in “a journalistic survey.” I talked to as many customers as I could before the next thunderstorm broke. Some people were skeptical. Others were kind, but in a rush. One woman ran away, calling me “one of those goddam bums.” (In my haste, I had forgotten to shave and I was wearing an old T-shirt.) But most were accommodating.

Listening to the Customers

During the afternoon of June 22, 2011, we conducted several interviews with book customers outside Bookcourt for this story. Listen to Glenn Kenny discuss his thoughts on author events with Our Correspondent. (3:27)

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Lucas, a smiling 50-year-old man who doesn’t work, told me that he doesn’t really attend author events, but that he “bumps into them.” He said he wouldn’t pay for an author event, largely because he views it as a meeting. In his view, the reader shouldn’t pay to meet people. “It’s very bizarre to go to an author meeting or gathering. Because basically you meet authors through their books. So I read their books. And I sort of dream about meeting them. But I don’t really want to meet them.”

Miriam, a 35-year-old consultant, told me she attended two to three author events a year. She likes “to learn about the work that goes behind the writing.” Asking stimulating questions and “the author’s voice” were also big draws. She said that she would pay $5 for an author event “if it was an author I liked.” The $5 fee wouldn’t make a huge difference, but she felt that “these things should be free to get the maximum number of people.” Miriam said that, if she were intrigued, she would pay for a debut or an unknown author event. But the biggest reason that Miriam went to events was knowing the author in question.

Patty Greenberg, a 60-year-old stay-at-home mom tightly gripping the leash of a rather large and very well-groomed poodle, told me that she only attended one author event a year and that she would only pay $5 if she was really interested in the author.

A 24-year-old dancer who claimed to be “Devon Alberta” (stage name or lark?) said that he doesn’t attend author events, but that he would pay money “if he liked the author.” He would even purchase the book if this was the cost to attend. Why does he attend author events? “I always like to have access to the writer and the way that they communicate outside of the text.”

Then there was an unexpected run-in with the film critic Glen Kenny, who told me that he attended five author events a year. Would he pay? “Five dollars is about reasonable if I wanted to go. And if there was seating.” Kenny confessed that he mostly goes to events if he knows the author, but he is interested in the presentation. “Just a window into his own perception of what he’s doing, I think, is often conveyed through reading.” He pointed to key differences between seeing Martin Amis at an event when he wasn’t well-known versus when he was well-known. But he did admit that an author event “doesn’t necessarily enhance my appreciation of the work.”

Brandon Pederson, a 24-year-old gentleman who identified himself as “a real-time highlighter for Major League Baseball,” said that he usually attended four author events a year. He said he would pay $5 if he “was sold on them being someone I would give $5 to” — note the way Pederson views the money as going to the author, not the bookstore. Pederson said that he often attended author events because “friends told him to.” I suggested to Pederson that surely he had free will. He then told me that he was new to the city and interested in “theory” and “fiction that pushes what fiction is.” He enjoyed hearing authors talk about books, sometimes buying them to be signed. But if Pederson was asked to pay $5 for an author he hadn’t heard of, then his criteria changed: “if the work sounded relative to what I was interested in.”

Jen, a 27-year-old teacher, told me that she probably hadn’t been to an author event at a bookstore. She was fond of going to author lectures –“usually authors that we’re reading about and stuff that we’re taking excerpts from.” Why did she avoid bookstore events? “Honestly? Probably because it’s not marketed that well. I don’t know about them.” Jen said that she would pay for an author event at a bookstore, but, like the majority of the people I spoke with, it would depend on who the author is. She would pay for favorite authors, but she wouldn’t pay for debut or unknown authors. “Not unless it was a friend I was trying to help out.”

Another 27-year-old teacher named Lynn, accompanied by a highly animated dog, was an even bigger fan of author events than Jen, in large part because she teaches English. She copped to attending 40 author events a year and she was the only person I talked with who had read the New York Times article. Why did she attend author events? “I’m bad in bars.”

While paying for an event would make her think twice, Lynn said that, despite her teacher’s salary, she would pay $5 if she had to because she loved independent bookstores and wanted to see them flourish. “There’s a reason I don’t buy used books.” But she did say that her husband would probably give her a hard time if she was forced to pay out $200/year.

Lynn told me that she had been disappointed by some author events. “I just go to go. It would have to be more of a schtick. Some do interviews. And some just read. I might be a little more thoughtful about the events that I go to.” I asked if she would want more from a reading if she was ponying up a Lincoln. “Yeah,” said Lynn. “Instead of Paul Auster reading, Jonathan Lethem interviewing Paul Auster. Maybe there’s wine and cheese.” Like other paid author event supporters I talked with, Lynn said that she would have to be somewhat familiar with a debut or unknown author to attend a paid author event — perhaps through a story in The New Yorker or One Story.

Will Paid Author Events Create More Demands?

“Instead of Paul Auster reading, Jonathan Lethem interviewing Paul Auster. Maybe there’s wine and cheese.” Listen to Lynn, a 27-year-old schoolteacher, discuss her thoughts on paid author events with Our Correspondent. (1:59)

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Doug Stone, a 40-year-old writer, said that he attended somewhere between three and four author events a year. Asked if he would pay $5 for an author event, he replied, “Well, it can’t be anybody.” Stone said that readings had a certain feel of inclusiveness that might be diminished by asking people to pay. “I’ve been to bookstores where you’re browsing and you didn’t even know there was going to be a reading. Then all of a sudden, we’re doing a reading. And you go over and you’re introduced to people.” He felt that charging money changed the spirit of the event and audience expectations. “The readings that I’ve enjoyed the most, they’re just a free event.” But Stone was not averse to someone passing the hat after an author event, if certain needs were stated. “I would put ten frigging dollars in that hat.”

* * *

What do these conversations tell us? It reveals that people like Lucas and Doug Stone often attend author events when it is random and that these happy accidents can produce potential acolytes. Nearly all of these customers see the author event as an experience to get to know the author beyond the book. Attending an event represents a perceived social experience. A $5 fee not only created the distinct possibility that debut, experimental, and unknown authors would be cut out of the loop, but it created new demands upon authors and bookstores. Would authors be required to perform? Should the authors be compensated? Would the audience demand more?

“Paid author events are common in Europe,” says novelist Stewart O’Nan. “In fact, a free author event would be uncommon, and even those are subsidized by the publishers and bookstores in co-op fashion, with the author being paid for each and every tour appearance. Because the author, when not writing, is being asked to be a performing artist. What other professional would be asked to travel across the country and perform their work for free? Even the lowliest dive bar has to give the band half of the door. This ain’t open mike night. The store provides the venue & the advertising & logistics, so they should definitely get a cut, but the author, being the attraction, should definitely be compensated.”

“Author events are a kind of gentlemen’s agreement, in a way,” says memoirist Alison Bechdel, who also offered an idea of authors performing foot massages for a small fee and splitting the take with the bookstore. “It’s understood that the bookstore and the author and the publisher all have a stake and a responsibility, but it’s a complex, overlapping mix in which you all depend on one another and work as hard as you can to have a successful event. All three parties want to sell the book. But there are other, less commodifiable, elements in the mix. It’s worth something to readers to have access to an author. It’s worth something to authors to have the opportunity to reach readers. It’s worth something to bookstores to get traffic and possible new customers. And when, inevitably, there’s an event that no one shows up to, the toll is not just financial — it’s depressing.

Stephanie Anderson, manager of the independent bookstore WORD Brooklyn, concludes that the author is being compensated on some level. “We’ve definitely noticed a strong correlation between how much an author and audience connect and how many books sell. I know royalties aren’t huge, but they are a good reason to want to sell a lot of your own book.”

I reached Tayari Jones by telephone as she was in the middle of a very involved indie-friendly tour for her latest novel, Silver Sparrow. Jones said that she was very grateful to the independents for their support of her book and that she wanted to do whatever she could for them. But she did express some reservations about paid author events could solve present problems.

“We need to raise awareness,” said Jones. “But I think that charging money feels punitive.”

Jones brought up a hypothetical example of a customer driving all the way from Detroit to an Ann Arbor bookstore and being turned away because she didn’t have the $5. “Can you imagine that?” Jones said that she didn’t want anybody turned away. Would this mean authors and publishers subsidizing author events for those facing financial hardship? I asked Jones if she would pay out of pocket. “$100,” said Jones. “I could front twenty people.”

Jones has adopted one strategy of informing her audience why it’s important to purchase a book at an indie — even if members of her audience have already done so. “It’s worked every time.” She notes that when such a request comes from the author (instead of the bookseller), it tends to have a less partial perception.

* * *

“My bottom line is this,” says novelist Jennifer Weiner. “I don’t think authors have any business telling readers where or when to buy their books. Would I love it if everyone bought my new hardcover the day it was published at Headhouse Books, which is my neighborhood independent in Philadelphia? Absolutely. Do I understand if they’ve got e-readers, or can find the books more cheaply at Sam’s Club or Target, or wait for the paperback, or visit the library because a hardcover isn’t in their budget? Absolutely. I’m grateful to have people reading my books, however and whenever they do it.”

Weiner hopes that struggling independent booksellers can consider the long-term customer. “Maybe the graduate student or young mom who shows up at my reading isn’t going to drop $27 on my newest hardcover, but maybe she will buy a trade paperback, and a few Judy Moodys for her kid. So the store’s making money, even if it’s not on my book. Or the putative reader won’t buy the book that day, but she’ll get it in two weeks. Or she won’t get it at all, but she’ll tell a friend, who will then buy a copy.”

Still, as former bookstore marketing manager Colleen Lindsay has observed, the author event is fraught with significant costs, including expenditures for returned books and those customers who couldn’t purchase a book that they wanted.

Off-site events, such as WORD Brooklyn’s recent ticketed event with China Mieville, have made a difference. “I think ticketing the event and having the vast majority of the books pre-purchased ended up making the event a better one overall,” says Anderson. “We and the venue were able to properly plan because we knew how many people were coming, which made setting up and transitioning from Mieville’s interview to his signing much easier (and meant he could spend more time with fans). It also meant that the act of commerce was essentially disassociated from the event, because everyone had already paid. There was no pressure to buy, because everyone had already bought. The staff could spend more time talking with people and helping out, instead of running a million credit cards. We did have some backlist titles available for sale and sold a few, but most people just got right in line with the book they had gotten when they walked in the door, and it all went very smoothly.”

Yet O’Nan suggests that shifting to a pay-for-play model generates additional problems of writers competing with celebrity writers. “Sarah Palin will sell a truckload more books and draw much bigger crowds than, say, Tom Wolfe,” says O’Nan, “who will sell a truckload more books and draw a much bigger crowd than, say, Steven Millhauser. In the end, is the idea merely to turn out the largest crowd and make the largest profit (and to sell the largest number of copies)? If so, book Sarah Palin. If it’s to enjoy the genius of a master storyteller, call Steven Millhauser. I’ll pay good money to see him.”

“There many be some evolution towards a revenue share model similar to what you see at a music venue, where they book in an act and share the door with the performer,” says Christin Evans, co-owner of The Booksmith in San Francisco. “We’d be open to considering that type of model. We already have a similar arrangement with the performer as our monthly adult cabaret event, The Literary Clown Foolery.”

Jones, O’Nan, and Weiner all tell me that they work very hard at their author events.

“I bring an A-game regardless,” says Jones. “There could be no more additional pressure.”

“I go out and give my all every time, whether I’m being paid decent money at a big university or reading for free at a tiny library,” says O’Nan.

“My secret weapon is baked goods,” says Weiner.

But do performance elements — what the dedicated bookstore customer might call “schtick” — create new demands for authors and bookstores in the 21st century?

Glenn Kenny suggests that some of these performance elements have been there all along. “I remember going to benefit events,” says Kenny, “which combined readings with music. It was something that McSweeney’s did after 9/11 at Angel Orensanz that had Chuck Klosterman reading from Fargo Rock City and David Byrne doing a PowerPoint presentation. So those things, which are packaged like entertainment events, they make more sense to be paid events, per se. But a plain reading might not necessarily be it. But I can’t rule anything out.”

While Weiner says that she would pay considerably more than $5 to listen to author Jen Lancaster, which she compares to “attending a stand-up performance,” author events can sometimes work in reverse.

“Some authors just aren’t very good at the performance component of this job,” says Weiner. “Which doesn’t mean they’re bad writers. It just means that maybe they aren’t necessarily the ones publishers and bookstores should send on the road and make readers pay to hear. And yes, there is something a little off-putting about charging for an event and the author, and her publisher, and whoever interviewed her if it was a Q and A, not seeing a cent of the money, particularly since publishers are the ones who pay to send authors on the road. I can see that independent bookstores feel like they need to take a ‘by any means necessary’ approach to cultivating revenue streams, but maybe there’s an approach where a bookstore could say, ‘If we clear more than X dollars that night, we’ll split the cost of the author’s plane ticket and hotel stay with her publisher.’ And anyone who volunteers his or her time to interview an author should at the very least get a gift card, or a few books for their trouble.”

It remains to be seen if paid author events will become a new regular fixture at this early stage in the game. In the meantime, some authors simply hope to go on with their business.

“The road of thinking that what we do is simply quantifiable — my ‘words’ or my ‘appearance’ having some fixed value — is the path of madness,” says Jonathan Lethem. “I’m just glad that anyone cares at all to either read the work or come catch a glimpse of me, and anything a bookstore can do to go on being a bookstore is just fine with me.”

“Everything is an experiment in the book business,” says Sherman Alexie. “We are talking about writers and independent booksellers. We are not talking about economic geniuses. We are all flailing.”

(Images: Rebecca Williamson, Daniel Huggard, bitchcakesny, Steve Rhodes)

List of Independent Alternatives to Closed Borders Bookstores

Introduction

On Wednesday morning, Borders announced that it would be filing for bankruptcy. As one of the first steps in bankruptcy proceedings, the nation’s second largest bookstore chain will be closing 200 of its stores and firing 6,000 of its 19,500 employees in the next few weeks.

It’s also worth pointing out that Borders has stiffed publishers for hundreds of millions of dollars. A recent Publishers Weekly breakdown reveals that Penguin Group (USA) is owed $41.1 million, Hachette is owed $36.9 million, Simon & Schuster is owed $33.8 million, Random House is owed $33.5 million, and HarperCollins is owed $25.8 million.

With thousands of jobs disappearing, hundreds of millions of dollars lost in bankruptcy limbo, and vital physical space possibly being taken up by other hands or converted into new retail areas that will have little to do with books, it would be a severe mistake to suggest that this won’t have a sizable impact on the book industry. On the other hand, now that the inevitable has occurred, the time has come to examine whether losing a Borders near you means losing the physical bookstore experience.

Laura Kuechenmeister, who handles events and marketing for the Albuquerque indie Bookworks, suggested in a recent blog post that it has become necessary for independents to work together to promote book culture. If the Borders closings represent an opportunity for the indies, then the moment has arrived for indies to serve as optimal community bookstores.

Yet it has been put forth by a few shortsighted pundits that “the space won’t come back.” Certainly many of the regular customers will shift to online spending and e-books. Sarah Weinman has proposed that the Borders closing represents the end of the chain bookstore era, suggesting that “we’ll look back and realize massive superstore chain bookstores were the subprime loans and credit default swaps of the publishing industry.”

In the next few years, booksellers will need to transform their operations in which physical space and community matters and those vital connections with customers become more personal and long-term. And the vital question we have to ask now is what the present bookstore grid looks like. As you can see from the list below, in most cases, there is an independent bookstore within ten miles from a closed Borders.

We should not discount the reality that some Borders closings will have a serious impact on communities, especially in rural areas within Colorado, Florida, and Ohio. Yet my investigations have also revealed that there are a great number of independent bookstores, often in unexpected areas. These independent bookstores are run not by faceless corporations, but passionate book lovers who very often read the books they stock. Their stock is, in most cases, almost exclusively physical books.

With digital book sales only making up 8.32% of the total book market (according to the latest AAP Publishers Repot), reports of the end of print books are greatly exaggerated.

In a USA Today article from last week, Fordham University marketing professor Albert Greco estimated that Borders has about 8.1% of the total book market. However, it’s worth pointing out that most of Borders’s 500 stores have opened up only in the last decade. How much of this 8.1% will move on to other physical bookstores? It is my hope that, in assembling this list, I have given that 8.1% share of the marketplace a very good reason to continue to support bookstores, especially those bookstores run by people who are interested in supporting the community.

Methodology: The list of 200 Borders bookstores was obtained from court records. I located the alternative bookstores using a variety of online sources (Indiebound, Yelp, Citysearch) and attempted to include independent bookstores that were favorably reviewed by customers. Mileage was calculated by ZIP Code. As of February 18, 2011, I have confirmed that all of the following bookstores all remain open for business. I have also eliminated the two Puerto Rico bookstores that are closing. Like the Hawaii situation, if a Borders store closes on an island, chances are that you’ll have to go for a swim to find an alternative. I encourage the readers to leave comments if there are independent bookstores that I have overloooked or if the information is inaccurate. I will happily amend the list to account for any late-stage crowdsourcing.

2/20/11 UPDATE: Thanks to all who have spread the link around and offered additional alternatives in both the comments and on Twitter. I have amended the list to reflect this input. Please be advised that the criteria involves bookstores that are close to a closing Borders. So if I have missed your favorite independent bookstore, it is probably because there were other bookstores that were closer to the closed Borders in question. Nevertheless, I have added all received suggestions. Please feel free to continue with the comments and I will offer another update.

7/19/11 UPDATE: As of Monday, July 18, 2011, Borders could not find a buyer. It will be closing all of its stores. In the next few weeks, I will be preparing a revised list incorporating these new stores, along with the data we have generated from this list. Thanks to all for your continued input.

Alaska

Borders Bookstore #88
1100 E. Diamond Blvd., Anchorage, AK 99515
Alternatives:
University of Alaska Bookstore, 2905 Providence Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508 (5.7 miles)
Title Wave Books, 1360 West Northern Lights, Anchorage, AK 99503 (5.8 miles)

Arizona

Borders Bookstore #596
10100 W. McDowell Road, Avondale, AZ 85323
Alternatives:
Thrifty Joe’s, 6020 W Bell Road, #E104, Glendale, AZ 85308 (12.0 miles)
Bookmans Phoenix, 8034 N. 19th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85021 (12.1 miles)
Bent Cover Books, 12428 N. 28th Drive, Phoenix, AZ 85029 (12.6 miles)

Borders Bookstore #282
870 N. 54th Street, Chandler, AZ 85226
Alternatives:
Changing Hands Bookstore, 6428 South McClintock Drive, Tempe, AZ 85283 (6.3 miles)
Ecobooks, 227 E Baseline Road, Suite #J-5, Tempe, AZ 85283 (7.2 miles)
Red-Tail Books, 204 N Florence St, Casa Grande, AZ 85122 (Thanks, Dave)

Borders Bookstore #69
1361 S. Alma School Road, Mesa, AZ 85210
Alternatives:
Bookmans Mesa, 1056 S. County Club Dr., Mesa, AZ 85210 (0.0 miles)
Those Were the Days, 628 N. Center Street, Mesa, AZ 85201 (2.9 miles)

Borders Bookstore #342
4555 East Cactus Road, Phoenix, AZ 85032
Alternatives:
Book Krazy, 1601 East Bell Road, Phoenix, AZ 85022 (2.7 miles)
Bent Cover Books, 12428 N. 28th Drive, Phoenix, AZ 85029 (6.9 miles)
Bookmans Phoenix, 8034 N. 19th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85021 (7.4 miles)

Borders Bookstore #54
2402 E. Camelback Road, Suite 200, Phoenix, AZ 85016
Alternatives:
Bards Books, 3508 N. 7th Street, #145, Phoenix, AZ 85014 (2.8 miles)
The Poisoned Pen, 4014 North Goldwater, Scottsdale, AZ 85251 (5.1 miles)

Borders Bookstore #641
7135 East Camelback Road, Space 140, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Alternatives:
The Poisoned Pen, 4014 North Goldwater, Scottsdale, AZ 85251 (0.0 miles)
Bards Books, 3508 N. 7th Street, #145, Phoenix, AZ 85014 (6.1 miles)

Borders Bookstore #538
7000 E. Mayo Blvd., Suite 1050, Scottsdale, AZ 85054
Alternatives:
Book Krazy, 1601 East Bell Road, Phoenix, AZ 85022 (6.3 miles)
Pages, 7100 E Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek, AZ 85331 (10.1 miles)

Borders Bookstore #18
4235 N Oracle Road, Tuscon, AZ 85705
Alternatives:
Revolutionary Grounds, 606 N. 4th Ave., Tucson, AZ 85705 (0.0 miles)
Antigone Books, 411 North 4th Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85705 (0.0 miles)
Bookmans, 3733 West Ina Road, Tucson, AZ 85741 (2.0 miles)
Bookmans, 1930 E. Grant Rd., Tucson, Arizona 86719 (6.9 miles) (Thanks, Matthew Garcia.)
Bookmans, 6230 E. Speedway Blvd., Tucson, Arizona 85712 (11.6 miles) (Thanks, Matthew Garcia.)

Arkansas

Borders Bookstore #318
2203 South 45th Street, Suite 12100, Rogers, AR 72758
Alternatives:
Coffee Break Book Store, 955 N. Curtis Ave., Pea Ridge, AK 72751 (10.7 miles)
Nightbird Books, 205 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville, AR 72701 (17.3 miles)

California

Borders Bookstore #233
Alameda Towne Centre, 2245 South Shore Center, Alameda, CA 94501
Alternatives:
Books Inc., 1344 Park St., Alameda, California 94501 (0.0 miles) (Thanks, Steve)
Wilmots Books, 478 Central Ave., Alameda, California 94501 (0.0 miles) (Thanks, Steve)
Kevin Patrick Books, 2170 Encinal Ave., Alameda, CA 94501 (0.0 miles) (Thanks, Alameda Annie)
Books Inc., 1344 Park Street, Alameda, CA 94501 (0.0 miles) (Thanks, Alameda Annie)
Tavistock Books, 1503 Webster Street Alameda, CA 94501 (0.0 miles) (Thanks, Steve)
Rebound Bookstore, 1611 4th Street, San Rafael, CA 94901 (0.0 miles)
Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, CA 94925 (3.4 miles)

Borders Bookstore #224
12741 Towne Center Drive, Cerritos, CA 90703
Alternatives:
One Dollar Bookstore, 4661 Silva St., Lakewood, CA 90712 (5.3 miles)
BookTown USA, 2090 S. Euclid Street, Anaheim, CA 92802 (7.1 miles)

Borders Bookstore #497
3833 Grand Avenue, Chino, CA 91710
Alternatives:
Books Redux, 18508 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda, CA 92886 (9.0 miles)
Bronco Bookstore, 3801 W. Temple Ave., Bldg. 66, Pomona, CA 91768 (9.0 miles)
Mrs. Nelson’s Toy and Book Shop, 1030 Bonita Avenue, La Verne, CA 91750 (10.8 miles)

Borders Bookstore #470
159 Fletcher Parkway, El Cajon, CA 92020
Alternatives:
Somewhere Else Coffeehouse & Bookstore, 330 South Magnolia, El Cajon, CA 92020 (0.0 miles)
Book Place, 6122 Lake Murray Blvd., La Mesa, CA 91942 (4.3 miles)
Readers Inc., 8219 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa, CA 91941 (children’s bookstore)
The Yellow Book Road, 7200 Parkway Drive #118, La Mesa, CA (6.6 miles) (Thanks, Melissa Wiley)

Borders Bookstore #404
39210 Fremont Hub, Suite 211, Fremont, CA 94538
Alternatives:
Towne Center Books, 555 Main Street, Pleasanton, CA 94566 (9.0 miles)
The Book Shop, 1007 B Street, Hayward, CA 94541 (9.7 miles)

Borders Bookstore #149
100 S. Brand Blvd., Glendale, CA 91204
Alternatives:
Mystery & Imagination, 238 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale, CA 91203 (0.9 miles)
Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027 (2.9 miles)
Stories, 1716 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026 (4.2 miles)

Borders Bookstore #527
1310 S. Beach Blvd., La Habra, CA 90631
Alternatives:
Books N Bits, 11806 186th St., Artesia, CA 90701 (8.6 miles)
Books Redux, 18508 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda, CA 92886 (9.0 miles)

Borders Bookstore #139
2110 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90815
Alternatives:
Open, 2226 East 4th Street, Long Beach, CA 90814 (3.0 miles)
One Dollar Bookstore, 4661 Silva St., Lakewood, CA 90712 (4.0 miles)
Secret Passages, 406 E. 3rd Street, Long Beach, CA 90802 (4.2 miles)

Borders Bookstore #690
101 South Pine Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90802
Alternatives:
Secret Passages, 406 E. 3rd Street, Long Beach, CA 90802 (0.0 miles)
Williams Bookstore, 443 West 6th Street, San Pedro, CA 90731 (2.7 miles)
Open, 2226 East 4th Street, Long Beach, CA 90814 (5.0 miles)

Borders Bookstore #154
10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90067
Alternatives:
The Mystery Bookstore, 1036 C Broxton Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90024 (1.0 miles) (Closed, thanks Geo Ong)
UCLA Bookzone, 308 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90024 (1.5 miles)
Alias Books, 1650 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025 (1.9 miles)
Diesel A Bookstore, 225 26th Street, Suite 33, Santa Monica, CA 90402 (Thanks Geo Ong)

Borders Bookstore #374
6081 Center Drive, Suite 118, Los Angeles, CA 90045
Alternatives:
Zahara’s Books N Things, 900 N. La Brea Ave., Inglewood, CA 90312 (3.1 miles)
Pages, 904 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 (4.0 miles)

Borders Bookstore #192
50 University Avenue, Suite 280, Los Gatos, CA 95030
Alternatives:
Hicklebee’s, 1378 Lincoln Avenue, San Jose, CA 95125 (6.8 miles)
Leigh’s, 121 S. Murphy Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94086 (10.8 miles)

Borders Bookstore #243
12423 Limonite Ave., Mira Loma, CA 91752
Alternatives:
DW Pages, 470 McKinley St., Corona, CA 92879 (5.5 miles)
Books Redux, 18508 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda, CA 92886 (15.5 miles)

Borders Bookstore #357
3900 Sisk Road, Modesto, CA 95356
Alternatives:
Yesterday’s Books, 3457 McHenry Ave., Modesto, CA 95350 (3.3 miles)
Graham’s Books and More, 328 North Main Street, Angels Camp, CA 95221 (36.2 miles)
Mountain Bookshop, 13769-I Mono Way, Sonora, California 95370 (52.5 miles) (Thanks, John)

Borders Bookstore #105
5055 S. Plaza Lane, Montclair, CA 91763
Alternatives:
Mrs. Nelson’s Toy and Book Shop, 1030 Bonita Avenue, La Verne, CA 91750 (6.9 miles)
Bronco Bookstore, 3801 W. Temple Ave., Bldg. 66, Pomona, CA 91768 (7.7 miles)
Covina Book Store, 234 N. Citrus Ave, Covina, CA 91723 (13.7 miles) (Thanks, Lisa Hendrix)

Borders Bookstore #266
20 City Boulevard, W., Orange, CA 92868
Alternatives:
Bookman, 840 N. Tustin St., Orange, CA 92867 (2.6 miles)
Compass Books, Downtown Disney, Anaheim, CA 92802 (3.0 miles)
BookTown USA, 2090 S. Euclid St., Anaheim, CA 92802 (3.8 miles)
Book Off, 2955 Harbor Blvd., Costa Mesa, CA 92626 (7.9 miles)

Borders Bookstore #485
241 W. Esplanade Drive, Oxnard, CA 93030
Alternatives:
Mr. Fig’s Bookworm, 93 East Daily Dr., Camarillo, CA 93010 (5.9 miles)
Abednego Book Shoppe, 2982 E. Main St., Ventura, CA 93003 (7.5 miles)

Borders Bookstore #263
475 S. Lake Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101
Alternatives:
Cliff’s Books, 630 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91101 (0.0 miles)
Vroman’s Bookstore, 695 East Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91101 (0.0 miles)
Covina Book Store, 234 N. Citrus Ave, Covina, CA 91723 (17.7 miles) (Thanks, Lisa Hendrix)

Borders Bookstore #576
8852 Washington Blvd., Pico Rivera, CA 90660
Alternatives:
Nostalgic Books & Comics, 517 West Main Street, Alhambra, CA 91801 (7.3 miles)
Books N Bits, 11806 186th Street, Artesia, CA 90701 (8.3 miles)

Borders Bookstore #117
4575 Rosewood Drive, Pleasanton, CA 94588
Alternatives:
Towne Center Books, 555 Main Street, Pleasanton, CA 94566 (3.8 miles)
Read Booksellers, 3630 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, Danville, CA 9506 (6.4 miles)

Borders Bookstore #523
550 Deep Valley Drive, Suite 261, Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274
Alternatives:
Williams’ Book Store, 443 West 6th Street, San Pedro, CA 90731 (5.2 miles)
Dave’s Olde Book Shop, 2123 Artesia Blvd., Redondo Beach, CA 90278 (7.4 miles)

Borders Bookstore #362
668 6th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
Alternatives:
Upstart Crow, 835 C West Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101 (0.0 miles)
Fifth Avenue Books, 3838 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103 (2.3 miles)
Bluestocking Books, 3817 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103 (2.3 miles)

Borders Bookstore #57
400 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Alternatives:
Books Inc., 601 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102 (0.0 miles)
Bibliohead Bookstore, 334 Gough Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 (0.0 miles)
City Lights, 261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94133 (0.8 miles) (Thanks, @CityLightsBooks)

Borders Bookstore #605
845 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
Alternatives:
Books Inc., 601 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102 (0.7 miles)
Bibliohead Bookstore, 334 Gough Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 (0.7 miles)
Alexander Book Co., 50 Second Street, San Francisco, CA 94105 (1.0 miles)
Green Apple Books, 506 Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94118 (2 miles) (Thanks, Pete Mulvihill)

Borders Bookstore #491
356 Santana Row, Suite 1030, San Jose, CA 95128
Alternatives:
Hicklebee’s, 1378 Lincoln Ave., San Jose, CA 95125 (2.4 miles)
Leigh’s Favorite Books, 121 S. Murphy, Sunnyvale, CA 94086 (6.5 miles)
Recycle Bookstore, 1066 The Alameda, San Jose, CA 95126 (Thanks, Laurie Daugherty)
Recycle Bookstore, 275 E. Campbell, San Jose, CA 95008 (Thanks, Laurie Daugherty)
Kepler’s Bookstore, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA 94025 (Thanks, Laurie Daugherty)

Borders Bookstore #587
925 Blossom Hill Road, Suite 1741, San Jose, CA 95123
Alternatives:
Hicklebee’s, 1378 Lincoln Ave., San Jose, CA 95125 (6.4 miles)
Booksmart, 80 East Second St., Morgan Hill, CA 95037 (11.9 miles)
Recycle Bookstore, 1066 The Alameda, San Jose, CA 95126 (Thanks, Laurie Daugherty)
Recycle Bookstore, 275 E. Campbell, San Jose, CA 95008 (Thanks, Laurie Daugherty)
Kepler’s Bookstore, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA 94025 (Thanks, Laurie Daugherty)

Borders Bookstore #141
2925 El Camino Real, San Mateo, CA 94403
Alternatives:
M is for Mystery, 86 East Third, San Mateo, CA 94401 (1.9 miles)
Books Inc., 1375 Burlingame Ave., Burlingame, CA 94010 (3.5 miles)
The Reading Bug, 785 Laurel St., San Carlos, CA 94070 (3.6 miles)

Borders Bookstore #379
120 Sunset Dr., San Ramon, CA 94583
Alternatives:
Bay Books, 2415 San Ramon Valley Blvd., San Ramon, CA 94583 (0.0 miles)
Rakestraw Books, 522 Hartz Blvd., Danville, CA 94526 (4.0 miles)
Read, 4040 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, Danville, CA 94506 (5.1 miles)

Borders Bookstore #387
1200 Pacific Ave., Suite 100, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Alternatives:
Bookshop Santa Cruz, 1520 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (0.0 miles)
The Literary Guillotine, 204 Locust St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (0.0 miles)
Logos Books & Records, 1117 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz CA 95060 (0.2 miles) (Thanks, Janina and Colleen.)
Capitola Book Cafe, 1475 41st Ave., Capitola, CA 95010 (2.9 miles)

Borders Bookstore #359
14651 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
Alternatives:
Portrait of a Bookstore, 4360 Tujunga Avenue, Studio City, CA 91604 (5.0 miles)
UCLA Bookzone, 308 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90024 (5.5 miles)

Borders Bookstore #621
10776 Trinity Parkway, Stockton, CA 95219
Alternatives:
Books Rio V, 207-A Main Street, Rio Vista, CA 94571 (10.1 miles)
Read, 4040 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, Danville, CA 94506 (26.5 miles)

Borders Bookstore #450
2493 Park Ave., Tustin, CA 92782
Alternatives:
A Whale of a Tale, 4199 Campus Drive, Irvine, CA 92612 (3.9 miles)
UCI Bookstore, UC Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697 (4.2 miles)
One Dollar Bookstore, 8520 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, CA 92869 (6.7 miles)
New & Recycled Romance 147 Broadway, Costa Mesa, CA 92627 (9.6 miles) (Thanks, Lisa Hendrix)

Borders Bookstore #443
32111 Union Landing Blvd., Union City, CA 94587
Alternatives:
The Book Shop, 1007 B Street, Hayward, CA 94541 (5.6 miles)
Jordan’s Village, 3224 Village Dr., Castro Valley, CA 94546 (7.1 miles)

Borders Bookstore #297
24445 Town Center Dr., Valencia, CA 91355
Alternatives:
Books in the Belfry, 5453 Satsuma Ave., North Hollywood, CA 91601 (20.3 miles)
Dark Delicacies, 4213 W. Burbank, Burbank, CA 91505 (20.6 miles)
Iliad Bookshop, 5400 Cahuenga Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601 (20.6 miles)

Borders Bookstore #402
22401 Old Canal Road, Yorba Linda, CA 92887
Alternatives:
Books Redux, 18508 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda, CA 92886 (4.9 miles)
One Dollar Bookstore, 8520 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, CA 92869 (7.5 miles)

Colorado

Borders Bookstore #481
6606 South Parker Road, Aurora, CO 80015
Alternatives:
The Bookies, 4315 East Mississippi Ave., Denver, CO 80246 (10.1 miles)
Hermitage Bookshop, 290 Fillmore St., Denver, CO 80206 (11.7 miles)
Tattered Cover, Lowenstein Theater, Denver, Colorado 80206 (12.1 miles) (Thanks, Matthew Garcia)

Borders Bookstore #407
1750 Twenty Ninth Street, Suite 1052, Boulder, CO 80301
Alternatives:
Troubadour Books, 5290 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, CO 80303 (1.0 miles)
Red Letter Secondhand Books, 1737 Pearl Street, Boulder, CO 80302 (3.3 miles)
Boulder Book Store, 1107 Pearl Street, Boulder, CO 80302 (3.3 miles) (Thanks, Drew)
Trident Booksellers and Cafe, 940 Pearl St, Boulder, CO, 80302 (Thanks, Paul Nuhn)
Innisfree Poetry, 1203 13th St. Suite A, Boulder, CO 80302 (Thanks, Brian)

Borders Bookstore #545
264 Dillon Ridge Way, Dillon, CO 80435
Alternatives:
The Next Page, 409 Main Street, Frisco, CO 80443 (2.8 miles)
Hamlet’s Bookshoppe, 306 South Main Street, Breckenridge, CO 80424 (8.1 miles)

Borders Bookstore #562
2464 US Highway 6 & 50, Suite 132, Grand Junction, CO 81505
Alternatives:
Expressions Book Store, 302 2nd Street, Paonia, CO 81428 (51.4 miles)
Avis on the Corner, 325 6th Street, Meeker, CO 81641 (62.9 miles)

Borders Bookstore #413
2863 35th Ave., Greeley, CO 80634
Alternatives:
Anthology Book Company, 942 9th Avenue, Greeley, CO 80631 (17.1 miles)
Book Haven, 1408 N. Lincoln, Loveland, CO 80538 (17.4 miles)

Borders Bookstore #375
8501 West Bowles Ave., Littleton, CO 80123
Alternatives:
Bo Peep Books, 987 Welch Court, Golden, CO 80401 (4.8 miles)
Tattered Cover, 9315 Dorchester, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129 (5.8 miles)

Connecticut

Borders Bookstore #214
110 Federal Road, Danbury, CT 06811
Alternatives:
Books on the Common, 404 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877 (10.5 miles)
Bank Street Book Nook, 50 Bank Street, New Millford, CT 06776 (10.8 miles)
Rainy Day Paperback Exchange, 81 Greenwood Ave., Bethel, CT 06801 (Thanks, Monique)

Borders Bookstore #60
59 Pavilions Drive, Manchester, CT 06040
Alternatives:
The Book Bar, 187 Route 66 East, 1C, Columbia, CT 06237 (13.3 miles)
Broad Street Books, 45 Broad Street, Middletown, CT 06457 (15.7 miles)
UConn Co-Op, 2075 Hillside Road, Storrs Mansfield, CT 06269 (19.9 miles) (Thanks, Suzy Staubach)

Borders Bookstore #165
1201 Boston Post Road, Milford, CT 06460
Alternatives:
Collected Stories, 12 Daniel St., Milford, CT 06460 (0.0 miles)
Rainy Faye, 940 Broad Street, Bridgeport, CT 06604 (7.1 miles)

Borders Bookstore #378
500 Bushy Hill Road, Simsbury, CT 06070
Alternatives:
Millrace Books, 40 Mill Lane, Farmington, CT 06032 (7.6 miles)
Nobel Scholar Book Store, 1191 Farmington Ave., Bristol, CT 06010 (9.8 miles)

Borders Bookstore #833
Southbury Plaza, 100 Main Street North, Spc 17, Southbury, CT 06488
Alternatives:
Bank Street Book Nook, 50 Bank Street, New Millford, CT 06776 (12.1 miles)
Hickory Stick Bookshop, 2 Green Hill Road, Washington Depot, CT 06794 (12.8 miles)
Rainy Day Paperback Exchange, 81 Greenwood Ave., Bethel, CT 06801 (Thanks, Monique)

Borders Bookstore #530
14 Danbury Road (Gateway Center), Wilton, CT 06897
Alternatives:
Elm Street Books, 35 Elm Street, New Canaan, CT 06840 (5.1 miles)
Books on the Common, 404 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877 (5.8 miles)

DC

Borders Bookstore #285
5333 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20015
Alternatives:
Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20008 (0.9 miles)
Booktopia, 4701 Sangamore Road, Betheseda, MD 20816 (3.2 miles)

Borders Bookstore #50
1801 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006
Alternatives:
Chapters, 445 11th Street, Washington, DC 20004 (1.0 miles) (No longer physical location; thanks JH)
Bridge Street Books, 2814 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20007 (1.5 miles)
Second Story Books, 2000 P Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036 (1.5 miles)
Kramerbooks & Afterwords, 1517 Conn. Ave., Washington, DC 20036 (Thanks, JH)

Florida

Borders Bookstore #181
880 W. State Road, #436, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714
Alternatives:
B & L Books, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714 (0.0 miles)
The Book Worm, 2400 E Washington St., Orlando, FL 32803 (10.5 miles)

Borders Bookstore #493
2020 Town Center Blvd., Brandon, FL 33511
Alternatives:
Inkwood Books, 216 South Armenia Ave., Tampa, FL 33609 (11.7 miles)
Mojo Books & Music, 2558 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa, FL 33612 (13.7 miles)

Borders Bookstore #593
2683 Gulf to Bay Blvd., Clearwater, FL 33759
Alternatives:
Book Bank, 10500 Ulmerton Road, Largo, FL 33771 (7.2 miles)
Books at Park Place, 3710 Park Blvd., Pinellas Park, FL 33781 (9.0 miles)
Haslam’s, 2025 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33713 (14 miles) (Thanks, Monique)

Borders Bookstore #124
2240 E. Sunrise Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33304
Alternatives:
Well Read, 1374 Southeast 17th Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316 (2.3 miles)
The Bookshop, 3020 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306 (2.4 miles) (Sadly, closing in two weeks; thanks Victor Velasco)
Underground Coffeehaus, 2473 E Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306 (2.5 miles)
Books & Books, Museum of Art-Fort Lauderdale, One East Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301 (Thanks, Mark)

Borders Bookstore #604
Gulf Coast Town Center, 10037 Gulf Center Drive, Fort Myers, FL 33913
Alternatives:
Cypress Paperback Exchange, 9541 Cypress Lake Drive, Fort Myers, FL 33919 (12.6 miles)
Sanibel Island Bookshop, 1571 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957 (23.3 miles)
Sandman Book Company, 16500 Burnt Store Road, #109, Punta Gorda, FL 33955 (24.5 miles)

Borders Bookstore #355
6837 Newberry Road, Gainesville, FL 32605
Alternatives:
Book Gallery West, 4121 NW 16th Blvd., Gainsville, FL 32605 (0.0 miles)
Books, Inc., 505 NW 13th Street, Gainesville, FL 32601 (2.0 miles)

Borders Bookstore #207
8801 Southside Blvd., Ste. 10, Jacksonville, FL 32256
Alternatives:
The Book Mark, 220 1st Street, Neptune Beach, FL 32265 (12.1 miles)
Comics & Classics, 1722 Third Street North, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250 (13.1 miles)

Borders Bookstore #395
3066 NW Federal Highway, Jensen Beach, FL 34957
Alternatives:
Vero Beach Book Center, 2145 Indian River Blvd., Vero Beach, FL 32960 (26.4 miles)
Classic Bookshop, 310 South County Road, Palm Beach, FL 33480 (41.7 miles)

Borders Bookstore #410
10600 Tamiami Trail North, Suite 600, Naples, FL 34108
Alternatives:
The Curiosity Shop, 2381 Davis Blvd., Naples, FL 34104
Macintosh Books, 2365 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957 (19.2 miles)

Borders Bookstore #254
9441 W. Colonial Drive, Oocee, FL 34761
Alternatives:
B & L Books, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714 (8.1 miles)
The Book Worm, 2400 E Washington St., Orlando, FL 32803 (9.7 miles)

Borders Bookstore #279
1051 W. Sand Lake Road, Orlando, FL 32809
Alternatives:
The Book Worm, 2400 E Washington St., Orlando, FL 32803 (6.2 miles)
Brightlight Books, 1099 State Road 436, Casselberry, FL 32707 (13.1 miles)

Borders Bookstore #259
8285 Red Bug Lake Road, Ovledo, FL 32765
Alternatives:
Brightlight Books, 1099 State Road 436, Casselberry, FL 32707 (7.0 miles)
Maya Books, 201 East 1st Street, Sanford, FL 32771 (10.7 miles)
The Book Worm, 2400 E. Washington St., Orlando, FL 32803 (12.0 miles)

Borders Bookstore #222
12171 W. Sunrise Blvd., Plantation, FL 33323
Alternatives:
Big Apple Books, 1151 NE 45th Street, Pompano Beach, FL 33334 (11.7 miles)
Well Read, 1374 Southeast 17th Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316 (12.3 miles)
The Bookshop, 3020 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306 (12.5 miles)

Borders Bookstore #626
3800 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34239
Alternatives:
Circle Books, 478 John Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34236 (3.6 miles)
Little Bookworms< 478 John Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, FL (7.6 miles) Sanddollar Books, 272 Miami Avenue West, Venice, FL 34285 (15.3 miles)

Borders Bookstore #148
909 Dale Mabry, Tampa, FL 33609
Alternatives:
Inkwood Books, 216 South Armenia Ave., Tampa, FL 33609 (0.0 miles)
Mojo Books, 2588 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa, FL 33612 (9.1 miles)
Haslam’s, 2025 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33713 (Thanks, Monique)

Borders Bookstore #171
12500 N. Dale Mbwy, Tampa, FL 33618
Alternatives:
Mojo Books, 2588 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa, FL 33612 (4.3 miles)
Book Swap of Carrollwood, 3144 North Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, FL 35614 (8.0 miles) (Thanks, Heather)
Inkwood Books, 216 South Armenia Ave., Tampa, FL 33609 (9.3 miles)
Haslam’s, 2025 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33713 (Thanks, Monique)

Georgia

Borders Bookstore #256
3101 Cobb Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30339
Alternatives:
The Corner Bookstore, 220 CNN Center, Atlanta, GA 30303 (7.2 miles)
Outwrite Bookstore, 991 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30309 (7.7 miles)
A Cappella Books, 484-C Moreland Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307 (8.7 miles)
Atlanta Vintage Books, 3660 Clairmont Road, Chamblee, GA 30341 (8.9 miles) (Thanks, Jimmy Lo)
Books Again, 225 North McDonough Street, Decatur, GA, 30030 (12 miles) (Thanks, Jimmy Lo)
Little Shop of Stories, 133 East Court Square, Decatur GA 30030 (14.5 miles) (Thanks, Diane Capriola)
Charis Books & More, 1189 Euclid Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307 (Thanks, Sara Luce Look)

Borders Bookstore #298
1605 East-West Connector Road, Austell, GA 30106
Alternatives:
Book Worm , 4451 Marrietta St., Powder Springs, GA 30127 (4.4 miles)
The Corner Bookstore, 220 CNN Center, Atlanta, GA 30303 (14.2 miles)
Once & Again Books, 2960 Shallowford Road, Marietta, GA 30066 (14.6 miles)

Borders Bookstore #360
1705 Mall of Georgia Blvd., Suite 200, Buford, GA 30519
Alternatives:
Books for Less, 2815 Buford Dr., Buford, GA 30519 (0.0 miles)
Humpus Bumpus Books, 703 Atlanta Road, Cumming, GA 30040 (14.1 miles)
Read It Again, 3630 Peachtree Parkway, Swanee, GA 30024 (14.1 miles)

Borders Bookstore #411
605 Ernest W. Barrett Parkway, Building 400, Kennesaw, GA 30144
Alternatives:
FoxTale Book Shoppe, 105 East Main St., Woodstock, GA 30188 (7.5 miles)
Once & Again Books, 2960 Shallowford Road, Marietta, GA 30066 (10.1 miles)
Book Exchange, 2956 Canton Rd. Marietta, GA 30066 (Thanks, Cathy Blanco)

Borders Bookstore #691
3630 Peachtree Parkway, Suite 100, Suanee, GA 30024
Alternatives:
Read It Again, 3630 Peachtree Parkway, Swanee, GA 30024 (0.0 miles)
Books for Less, 2815 Buford Dr., Buford, GA 30519 (6.0 miles)
Humpus Bumpus Books, 703 Atlanta Road, Cumming, GA 30040 (6.7 miles)

Hawaii

Borders Bookstore #206
75-1000 Henry Street, Kallua-Kona, HI 96740
Alternatives:
Kona Stories, 79-7460 Mamalaha Highway, Kealakekua, HI 96750 (16.8 miles)
Talk Story Bokstore, 3785 Hanapepe Road, Hanapepe, Kaua’i, HI (Thanks, E)
Logos Bookstore of Hawaii, 1024 Queen Street, Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii (Thanks, E)
Hanalei Book Store, 4489 Aku Road, Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii (Thanks E)

Borders Bookstore #95
4030 Nawillwill, Lihue, HI 96766
Alternatives:
Unknown aside from Kona Stories. Hawaii, being a group of islands, is particularly hard hit by the Borders closings. However, there are three Barnes & Nobles located in Hawaii — two in Honolulu, one in Maui.

Illinois

Borders Bookstore #480
161 N. Webber, Bolingbrook, IL 60490
Alternatives:
Anderson’s, 123 West Jefferson Ave., Naperville, IL 60540 (8.3 miles)
Old Towne Books & Tea., 61 S. Madison St., #63, Oswego, IL 60543 (9.3 miles)

Borders Bookstore #408
3539 E. Main, St. Charles, IL 60174
Alternatives:
Town House Books, 105 North 2nd Avenue, St. Charles, IL 60174 (0.0 miles)
Books at Sunset, 1100 South Street, Elgin, IL 60123 (9.3 miles)

Borders Bookstore #564
775 W. North Avenue, Chicago, IL 60610
Alternatives:
Open Books, 213 W. Institute Place, Chicago, IL 60610 (0.0 miles)
Abraham Lincoln Book Shop, 357 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60610 (0.0 miles)
Barbara’s Bookstore, 201 East Huron, Chicago, IL 60611 (0.4 miles)

Borders Bookstore #554
4718 N. Broadway Ave., Chicago, IL 60640
Alternatives:
Women and Children First< 5233 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60640 (0.0 miles) Ravenswood Used Books, 4626 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625 (1.4 miles)
Book Cellar, 4736-38 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60625 (1.4 miles)

Borders Bookstore #517
6103 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60659
Alternatives:
Book Cellar, 4736-38 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60625 (1.9 miles)
Ravenswood Used Books, 4626 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625 (2.1 miles)
Women and Children First< 5233 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60640 (2.3 miles) Borders Bookstore #101
2817 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60657
Alternatives:
Bookworks, 3444 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60657 (0.0 miles)
Unabridged Bookstore, 3251 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657 (0.0 miles)
Ravenswood Used Books, 4626 North Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60625 (2.1 miles)
Bookleggers, 2907 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657 (Thanks, Joseph Finn)
Chicago Comics, 3224 N Clark, Chicago, IL 60657 (Thanks, Joseph Finn)

Borders Bookstore #284
2210 W. 95th Street, Chicago, IL 60643
Alternatives:
The Bookie’s Paperbacks & More, 2419 W. 103rd Street, Chicago, IL 60655 (3.8 miles)
The Seminary Co-Op Bookstores, 5757 South University Ave., Chicago, IL 60637 (9.3 miles)
57th Street Books, 1301 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637 (9.4 miles)

Borders Bookstore #265
6000 Northwestern Highway, Crystal Lake, IL 60014
Alternatives:
Read Between the Lynes, 129 Van Buren Street, Woodstock, IL 60098 (11.2 miles)
This Old Book, 138 Center Street, Grayslake, IL 60030 (11.8 miles)

Borders Bookstore #33
49 S. Waukegan Road, Deerfield, IL 60015
Alternatives:
The Book Bin, 1151 Church St., Northbrook, IL 60062 (1.5 miles)
The Book Stall at Chestnut Court, 811 Elm Street, Winnetka, IL 60093 (5.3 miles)
Lake Forest Book Store, 680 N Western Ave, Lake Forest, IL 60045 (7 miles) (Thanks, Catherine Savage)

Borders Bookstore #498
2520 Sycamore Road, DeKalb, IL 60115
Alternatives:
Eclectique Green Boutique, 300 E. Main Street, Plano, IL (18.1 miles)
Town House Books & Cafe, 105 North 2nd Ave., Saint Charles, IL 60174 (18.8 miles)

Borders Bookstore #144
1700 Maple Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201
Alternatives:
Bookman’s Alley, 1712 Sherman Avenue, Evanston, Illinois 60201 (0.0 miles)
The Book Stall at Chestnut Court, 811 Elm Street, Winnetka, IL 60093 (3.9 miles)
Market Fresh Books, 700 Church St., Evanston, IL 60201 (Thanks, Paul)
Market Fresh Books, 602 Davis Street, Evanston, IL 60201 (Thanks, Paul)

Borders Bookstore #575
4824 West 211th Street, Matteson, IL 60443
Alternatives:
Azizi Books, 134 Lincoln Mall Drive, Matteson, IL 60443 (0.0 miles)
Empire Books, 20879 S. LaGrange Road, Frankfort, IL 60423 (4.3 miles)

Borders Bookstore #503
2221 Richmond Road, McHenry, IL 60050
Alternatives:
Cafe Book, 395 Lake Street, Antioch, Illinois 60002 (6.9 miles)
This Old Book, 138 Center Street, Grayslake, Illinois 60030 (8.7 miles)

Borders Bookstore #363
909 North Elmhurst Road, Mt. Prospect, IL 60056
Alternatives:
Top Shelf Books, 47 East Northwest Highway, Palatine, Illinois 60067 (6.7 miles)
The Book Bin, 1151 Church Street, Northbrook, Illinois 60062 (7.0 miles)

Borders Bookstore #516
200 A North Greenbriar Drive, Normal, IL 61761
Alternatives:
Babbitt’s Books, 119 E. Beaufort Street, Normal, Illinois 61761 (0.0 miles)
Bookworm Books, 3261 Court St. Pekin, Illinois 61554 (32.5 miles)

Borders Bookstore #483
7100 W. Forest Preserve Drive, Norridge, IL 60706
Alternatives:
Burke’s Books of Park Ridge, 2 Prairie Avenue, Park Ridge, Illinois 60068 (3.3 miles)
Book Cellar, 4736-38 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60625 (5.5 miles)
The Book Table, 1045 Lake Street, Oak Park, IL 60301 (6.7 miles) (Thanks, Jason B. Smith and Rachel)

Indiana

Borders Bookstore #504
2381 Pointe Parkway, Carmel, IN 46032
Alternatives:
Big Hat Books, 6510 Cornell Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46220 (4.7 miles)
Mudsock Books & Curiosity Shoppe, 11631 Fishers Station Drive, Fishers, IN 46038 (4.7 miles)

Borders Bookstore #508
6401 E. Lloyds Expressway, Suite 1, Evansville, IN 47715
Alternatives:
The Book Emporium, 303 S. Commercial, #9, Harrisburg, IL 62946 (61.6 miles)
Next Chapter Bookstore, 212 South Cross St., Robinson, IL 62454 (61.6 miles)

Borders Bookstore #488
11 S. Meridian Street, Suite 110, Indianapolis, IN 46204
Alternatives:
Out Word Bound, 625 North East Street, Indianapolis, IN 46022 (0.3 miles) (Closed, thanks Mike Mullin)
Big Hat Books, 6510 Cornell Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46220 (6.6 miles)
Downtown Comics, 5767 East 86th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46250 (10.0 miles)
Kids Ink, 5619 N. Illinois, Indianapolis, IN 46208 (Thanks Mike Mullin)
Borders Bookstore #600
2074 Southlake Mall, Merrilville, IN 46410
Alternatives:
Azizi Books, 134 Lincoln Mall Drive, Matteson, Illinois 60443 (20.8 miles)
The Bookie’s Paperbacks, 2419 W 103rd, Chicago, Illinois 60655 (24.2 miles)

Borders Bookstore #195
4230 Grape Road, Mishawaka, IN 46545
Alternatives:
The Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore, Bookstore Building, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556 (2.6 miles)
Erasmus Books, 1027 E. Wayne, South Bend, Indiana 46617 (3.3 miles)

Borders Bookstore #518
348 E. State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47906
Alternatives:
Purdue West Bookstore, 1400 W State St, Lafayette, Indiana 47906 (0.0 miles) (not an actual bookstore, thanks Jade!)
Von’s Book Shop, 315 West State Street, West Lafayette, Indiana 47906 (0.0 miles)

Kansas

Borders Bookstore #203
700 New Hampshire Street, Lawrence, KS 66044
Alternatives:
The Raven Bookstore, 6 East 7th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044 (0.0 miles)
The Dusty Bookshelf, 708 Massachusetts, Lawrence, KS 66044 (0.0 miles)

Borders Bookstore #122
1715 Rock Road & 13th Street, Wichita, KS 67206
Alternatives:
Prairie Archives, 522 East Adams, Springfield, IL 52701 (0.2 miles)
Trunk Novels, 1337 Wabash Ave., Springfield, IL 62704 (2.7 miles)
Watermark Books, 4701 East Douglas Avenue, Wichita, KS 67218 (3.9 miles) (Thanks, @Ragesingoddess)
Eighth Day Books, 2838 East Douglas Avenue, Wichita, KS 67214 (5.1 miles) (Thanks, @Ragesingoddess)

Kentucky

Borders Bookstore #571
2520 S. Hurstborne Gem Lane, Louisville, KY 40220
Alternatives:
Carmichael’s Bookstore, 2720 Frankfort Ave., Louisville, KY 40206 (4.5 miles)
Carmichael’s Bookstore, 1295 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY 40204 (5.0 miles)
Gray’s College Bookstore, 1915 S. 4th Street, Louisville, KY 40208 (7.4 miles)

Borders Bookstore #556
400 S. 4th Street, Louisville, KY 40202
Alternatives:
Storylines by Regalo, 140 N. 4th St., Louisville, KY 40202 (0.0 miles)
Carmichael’s Bookstore, 1295 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY 40204 (2.5 miles)

Louisiana

Borders Bookstore #829
3338 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, LA 70115
Alternatives:
McKeown’s Books and Difficult Music, 4737 Tchoupltoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70015 (0.0 miles)
Octavia Books, 513 Octavia Street, New Orleans, LA 70115
Maple Street Bookshop, 7523/29 Maple Street, New Orleans, LA 70118 (Thanks, Veronica)
Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania Street,
New Orleans, LA 70130 (Thanks, Britton)

Borders Bookstore #280
8131 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, LA 70002-6047
Alternatives:
Tale of Two Sisters Bookstore, 4436 Veterans Blvd., Metairie, LA 70006 (2.5 miles)
Blue Cypress Books, 8126 Oak Street, New Orleans, LA 70118
Maple Street Bookshop, 7523/29 Maple Street, New Orleans, LA 70118 (Thanks, Veronica)

Maryland

Borders Bookstore #174
4420 Mitchellville Road, Bowie, MD 20716
Alternatives:
The Book Nook, 5606 Baltimore Ave., Hyattsville, MD 20781 (12.3 miles)
The Anapolis Bookstore, 68 Maryland Ave, Annapolis, MD 21401 (12.6 miles)
Hard Bean Coffee & Books, 36 Market Space, Annapolis, MD 21401 (12.7 miles)

Borders Bookstore #10
11301 Rockville Pike, Kensington, MD 20895
Alternatives:
Kensington Row Bookshop, 3786 Howard Avenue
Kensington, MD 20895 (0.0 miles)
Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20008 (5.8 miles)

Borders Bookstore #542
931 Capital Centre Blvd., Largo, MD 20774
Alternatives:
The Book Nook, 5606 Baltimore Avenue, Hyattsville, MD 20781 (13.6 miles)
Capitol Hill Books, 657 C St SE, Washington, DC 20003 (14.7 miles)
The Anapolis Bookstore, 68 Maryland Ave, Annapolis, MD 21401 (15.6 miles)

Massachusetts

Borders Bookstore #330
511 Bolyston Street, Boston, MA 02116
Alternatives:
The Children’s Book Shop, 237 Washington St., Brookline, MA 02445 (1.5 miles)
Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard St., Brookline, MA 02446 (2.1 miles)
Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
Trident Booksellers, 338 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02115 (Thanks, Blake Stacey)
Raven Used Books, 263 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02116 (Thanks, Blake Stacey)
Comicopia, 464 Comm. Ave., Kenmore Square, Boston, MA 02215 (Thanks, Blake Stacey)

Borders Bookstore #251
Wayside Commons, 6 Wayside Road, Space U, Burlington, MA 01803
Alternatives:
Book Ends, 559 Main Street, Winchester, MA 01890 (4.9 miles)
The Book Rack, 13 Medford St., Arlington, MA 02474 (6.7 miles)

Borders Bookstore #235
Holyoke Mall, 50 Holyoke Street, Space J312, Holyoke, MA 01041
Alternatives:
The Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St., South Hadley, MA 01075 (4.6 miles)
Heritage Books, 225 College Highway, Southampton, MA 01073 (6.0 miles)
White Square Books, 86 Cottage Street, Easthampton, MA 01027 (7.7 miles) (Thanks, Bronwen)
Cherry Picked Books, 101 Main Street, Easthampton, MA 01027 (8.3 miles) (Thanks, Bronwen)
Broadside Books, 247 Main Street, Northampton, MA 01060 (12 miles) (Thanks, Bronwen)
Raven Used Books, 4 Old South Street, Northampton, MA 01060 (12 miles) (Thanks, Bronwen)
Booklink, 150 Main Street, Thornes Marketplace, Northampton, MA 01060 (12 miles) (Thanks, Bronwen)
The Montague Bookmill, 440 Greenfield Rd. Montague, MA 01351 (Thanks, Dina Merrer)

Borders Bookstore #209
990 Iyannough Road, Hyannis, MA 02601
Alternatives:
Tim’s Used Books, 386 Main St., Hyannis, MA 02601 (0.0 miles)
Books by the Sea, 846 Main Street, Osterville, MA 02655 (3.6 miles)

Borders Bookstore #59
151 Andover Street, Peabody, MA 01960
Alternatives:
Derby Square Bookstore, 215 Essex St, Salem, MA 01970 (5.6 miles) (Thanks, Jeff Cross)
The Spirit of 76, 107 Pleasant St., Marblehead, MA 01945 (5.8 miles)
The Book Shop of Beverly Farms, 40 West St., Beverly Farms, MA 01915 (7.9 miles)
Used Book Superstore, Endicott Plaza, 139 Endicott St., Danvers, MA 01923 (Thanks, Jeff Cross)
Hand It Back Book Smyth, 240 S Main St., Middleton, MA 01949 (Thanks, Jeff Cross)

Borders Bookstore #803
Wareham Crossing, 2421 Cranberry Highway, Suite 460, Wareham, MA 02571
Alternatives:
Buttonwood Books, Route 3A, Cohasset, MA 02025 (1.9 miles)
Titcomb’s, 432 Route 6A, East Sandwich, MA 02537 (11.5 miles)
Baker Books, 69 State Road (Route 6), Dartmouth, CA 02747 (31.4 miles) (Thanks, @ErinHere)

Michigan

Borders Bookstore #303
3527 Washtenaw Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Alternatives:
Aunt Agatha’s, 213 South 4th Ave. Ann Arbor, MI 48104 (0.0 miles)
Common Language Bookstore, 317 Braun Court, Ann Arbor, MI 48104 (0.0 miles)
Nicola’s Books, 2513 Jackson Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48103 (3.5 miles)

Borders Bookstore #273
17141 Kercheval Avenue, Grosse Pointe, MI 48230
Alternatives:
Motor City Book Drive, 18135 E. Nine Mile Road, Eastpointe, MI 48021 (5.7 miles)
The Bookmark, 28853 Bunert Rd, Warren, MI 48088 (5.9 miles)
John K. King Used & Rare Books, 901 W. Lafeyette Blvd., Detroit, MI 48226 (7.8 miles) (Thanks, Gavin Craig, for correction.)
Leopold’s Books, 15 E Kirby St., Detroit, MI, 48202 (Thanks, Peter Markus)

Borders Bookstore #71
5601 Mercury Drive, Dearborn, MI 48126
Alternatives:
Magina Books, 2311 Fort Street, Lincoln Park, Michigan 48146 (4.2 miles)
John R. King Used & Rare Books, 901 W. Lafeyette Blvd., Detroit, MI 48226 (6.3 miles)
The Book Beat, 26010 Greenfield, Oak Park, MI 48237 (12.2 miles)
Leopold’s Books, 15 E Kirby St., Detroit, MI, 48202 (Thanks, Peter Markus)
Green Brain Comics, 13210 Michigan Ave, Dearborn, MI 48126 (Thanks, Dan Merritt)

Borders Bookstore #53
45290 Utica Park Blvd., Uitca, MI 48315
Alternatives:
Motor City Book Drive, 18135 E. Nine Mile Road, Eastpointe, MI 48021 (14.6 miles)
The Book Beat, 26010 Greenfield, Oak Park, MI 48237 (16.7 miles)
Leopold’s Books, 15 E Kirby St., Detroit, MI, 48202 (Thanks, Peter Markus)

Minnesota

Borders Bookstore #569
12059 Elm Creek Blvd., Maple Grove, MN 55369
Alternatives:
Dreamhaven Books, 2301 East 38th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406 (4.4 miles)
Magers & Quinn, 3038 Hennepin Avenue S, Minneapolis, MN 55408 (4.8 miles)
BookSmart, 2914 Hennepin Ave. South, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55408 (4.9 miles)

Borders Bookstore #31
1501 Plymouth Road, Minnetonka, MN 55305
Alternatives:
The Bookcase, 607 Lake St E, Wayzata, Minnesota 55391 (3.4 miles)
Excelsior Bay Books, 36 Water Street, Excelsior, MN 55331 (5.9 miles)

Borders Bookstore #189
800 W. 78th Street, Richfield, MN 55423
Alternatives:
True Colors Bookstore, 4755 Chicago Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55407 (2.8 miles)
Wild Rumpus, 2720 West 43rd Street, Minneapolis, MN 55410 (3.6 miles)
Dreamhaven Books, 2301 East 38th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406 (4.4 miles)
Magers & Quinn, 3038 Hennepin Avenue S, Minneapolis, MN 55408 (4.8 miles)

Borders Bookstore #267
1390 W. University Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55104
Alternatives:
Micawber’s, 2238 Carter Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55108 (1.5 miles)
Red Balloon Books, 891 Grand Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55105 (2.8 miles)
Mayday Books, 301 Cedar Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55454 (3.0 miles)

Missouri

Borders Bookstore #213
15355-A Machester Road, Ballwin, MO 63011
Alternatives:
The Book House, 9719 Manchester Road, Saint Louis, MO 63119 (14.6 miles)
The Book Shelf 8452 Watson Rd
St. Louis, MO 63119 (15.5 miles)
Left Bank, 399 N. Euclid, St. Louis, MO 63108 (Thanks, Julia Porter)
Subterranean Books, 6275 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63130 (Thanks, Julia Porter)
Pudd’nhead Books, 37 South Old Orchard Ave., St. Louis, MO 63119 (Thanks, Julia Porter)

Borders Bookstore #329
2040 Chesterfield Mall, Chesterfield, MO 63017
Alternatives:
Main Street Books, 307 South Main Street, Saint Charles, MO 63301 (10.4 miles)
The Book House, 9719 Manchester Road, Saint Louis, MO 63119 (13.5 miles)

Borders Bookstore #565
8628 North Boardwalk Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64154
Alternatives:
The Book Barn, 410 Delaware Street, Leavenworth, Kansas 66048 (15.1 miles)
Prospero’s Books, 1800 West 39th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64111 (15.3 miles)

Borders Bookstore #658
5201 North Belt Highway, Suite 127, St. Joseph, MO 64506
Alternatives:
The Book Barn, 410 Delaware Street, Leavenworth, Kansas 66048 (30.9 miles)
Prospero’s Books, 1800 West 39th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64111 (50.0 miles)

Borders Bookstore #492
1320 Mid Rivers Mall, St. Peters, MO 63376
Alternatives:
Main Street Books, 307 South Main Street, Saint Charles, MO 63301 (8.0 miles)
The Book House, 9719 Manchester Road, Saint Louis, MO 63119 (17.4 miles)

Borders Bookstore #529
3300 S. Glenstone Avenue, Springfield, MO 65804
Alternatives:
Missouri State Bookstore, 717 S Florence Ave
Springfield, MO 65807 (0.0 miles)
Book Castle, 2252 South Campbell, Springfield, MO 65807 (2.3 miles)

Montana

Borders Bookstore #548
2855 North 19th Avenue, Suite C, Bozeman, MT 59718
Alternatives:
Country Bookshelf, 28 West Main Street, Bozeman, MT 59715 (5.6 miles)
Grannie Irene’s Attic, 15 E. Main Street, Belgrade, Montana 59714 (14.0 miles)

Nevada

Borders Bookstore #81
2323 S. Decatur Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89102
Alternatives:
Greyhound’s Books, 539 W Oakey Blvd, Las Vegas, Nevada 89102 (0.0 miles)
Dead Poet, 937 S Rainbow Blvd, Las Vegas, Nevada 89145 (3.5 miles)
Bestseller Books, 4260 W Craig Rd #140, Las Vegas, Nevada 89032 (6.9 miles)

New Hampshire

Borders Bookstore #255
281 Daniel Webster Highway, Nashua, NH 03060
Alternatives:
The Book Cellar, 34 Northwest Boulevard, Unit #10, Nashua, New Hampshire 03063 (5.4 miles)
The Toadstool Bookshop, Lorden Plaza Route 101-A, Milford, New Hampshire 03055 (12.5 miles)

New Jersey

Borders Bookstore #499
1642 Schlosser Street, Fort Lee, NJ 07024
Alternatives:
Womrath’s, 12 Washington Street, Tenafly, NJ 07670 (5.3 miles)
Book Ends, 232 East Ridgewood Avenue, Ridgewood, NJ 07450-3816 (13.7 miles)

Borders Bookstore #302
1515 Route 22 West, Suite 2, Watchung, NJ 07069
Alternatives:
The Town Book Store, 270 East Broad Street, Westfield, NJ 07090 (4.6 miles)
Sages Pages, 300 Main Street, Madison, NJ 07940 (7.6 miles)
The Bookworm, 99 Claremont Road, Bernardsville, NJ 07924 (9.0 miles)

Borders Bookstore #34
Garden State Plaza, Suite 2200, Paramus, NJ 07652
Alternatives:
Book Ends, 232 East Ridgewood Avenue, Ridgewood, NJ 07450-3816 (3.4 miles)
Well Read, 425 Lafayette Ave, Hawthorne, NJ 07506 (4.5 miles)

Borders Bookstore #241
Raceway Mall, 3710 Route 9, Ste. 2318, Freehold, NJ 07728
Alternatives:
Booktowne, 171 Main Street, Manasquan, NJ 08736 (10.3 miles)
Act 2 Books, 90 Wilson Ave, Englishtown, NJ 07726 (10.7 miles)

New Mexico

Borders Bookstore #684
10420 Coors Bypass NW, Suite B, Albuquerque, NM 87114
Alternatives:
Bookworks, 4022 Rio Grande Boulevard Northwest, Albuquerque, NM 87107 (2.9 miles)
Title Wave Books, 1408 Menaul Blvd. NM, Albuquerque, NM 87112 (9.5 miles)
Alamosa Books, 8810 Holly Ave. NE Ste. D, Albuquerque, NM 87122 (10.4 miles) (Thanks, Richard Vargas)

Borders Bookstore #278
500 Montezuma, Suite 108, Santa Fe, NM 87501
Alternatives:
Collected Works, 202 Galisteo St, Santa Fe, NM 87501 (0.0 miles)
Otowi Station, 1350 Central Ave, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87544 (27.0 miles)

New York

Borders Bookstore #179
68 Veterans Memorial Highway, Commack, NY 11725
Alternatives:
Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington, NY 11743 (8.0 miles)
Best Bargain Books, 217 Centereach Mall, Centereach, NY 11720 (10.4 miles) (Closed; see alt. locations below; thanks, John Walsh)
Best Bargain Books, 65 Robinson Ave., Patchogue, NY 11772 (Thanks, John Walsh)
Best Bargain Books, 14 East Main Street, Port Jefferson, NY 11777 (Thanks, John Walsh)

Borders Bookstore #507
40 Catherwood Road, Ithaca, NY 14850
Alternatives:
Colophon Books, 205 N Aurora St., Ithaca, NY 14850 (0.2 miles) (Thanks, @eruditegore)
Riverow Bookshop, 187 Front St., Owego, NY 13827 (32.0 miles)
Creekside Books, 35 Fennell St., Skaneateles, NY 13152 (37.4 miles)

Borders Bookstore #566
100 Broadway, New York, NY 10005
Alternatives:
The Mysterious Bookshop, 58 Warren St., New York, NY 10007 (0.7 miles)
McNally Jackson, 52 Prince St., New York, NY 10012 (1.5 miles)

Borders Bookstore #228
576 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Alternatives:
Revolution Books, 146 West 26th St., New York, NY 10001 (0.7 miles)
Idlewild Books, 12 West 19th St., New York, NY 10011 (0.8 miles)
Books of Wonder, 18 West 18th St., New York, NY 10011 (0.9 miles)
Strand Books, 828 Broadway, New York, NY 10003 (1.3 miles)

Borders Bookstore #200
461 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022
Alternatives:
Center for Fiction Books, 17 East 47th St., New York, NY 10017 (0.7 miles)
Rizzoli Books, 31 West 57th St., New York, NY 10019 (1.0 miles)

Borders Bookstore #389
395 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Alternatives:
East Line Books, 1714 Route 9, Clinton Park, NY 12065 (8.4 miles)
Old Saratoga Books, 94 Broad Street, Schuylerville, New York 12871 (11.7 miles)

Borders Bookstore #475
680 White Plains Road, Scarsdale, NY 10583
Alternatives:
Galapagos Books, 22 Main St # A, Hastings-on-Hudson, New York 10706 (2.1 miles)
Womrath Bookshop, 76 Pondfield Road, Bronxville, New York 10708 (2.9 miles)
Voracious Reader, 1997 Palmer Ave, Larchmont, NY 10538 (Thanks, Kristi Cook)
Anderson’s Book Shop, 96 Chatsworth Ave #A, Larchmont, NY 10538 (Thanks, Emily)

Borders Bookstore #595
1820 South Road, Suite 110, Wappinger Falls, NY 12590
Alternatives:
Three Arts Bookstore, 3 Collegeview Avenue, Poughkeepsie, New York 12603 (7.4 miles)
Book Cove, 22 Charles Colman Boulevard, Pawling, New York 12564 (15.5 miles)

Borders Bookstore #52
1260 Old County Road, Westbury, NY 11590
Alternatives:
Dolphin Bookshop, 299 Main Street, Port Washington, NY 11050 (8.4 miles)
Forest Value Books, 170 Forest Ave., Glen Cove, NY 11542 (8.6 miles)

North Carolina

Borders Bookstore #333
1541 Beaver Creek Commons Dr., Ste. 220, Apex, NC 27502
Alternatives:
McIntyre’s, 2000 Fearrington Village
Pittsboro, NC 27312 (7.8 miles)
Internationalist Books, 405 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516 (13.8 miles)

Borders Bookstore #132
1751 Walnut Street, Cary, NC 27511
Alternatives:
Reader’s Corner, 3201 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27607 (6.5 miles)
Quail Ridge Books, 3522 Wade Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27607 (6.5 miles)

Borders Bookstore #490
1807 Fordham Blvd., Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Alternatives:
Flyleaf Books, 752 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd., Chapel Hill, NC 27514 (0.0 miles)
The Regulator Bookshop, 720 9th Street, Durham, NC 27705 (6.0 miles)
The Gothic Bookshop, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708 (6.1 miles)
The Bull’s Head Bookshop, 207 South Road, CB#1530, Daniels Bldg, Chapel Hill, NC 27599 (Thanks, Erica Eisdorfer)

Borders Bookstore #134
3605 High Point Road, Greensboro, NC 27407
Alternatives:
Edward McKay Books, 1607 Battleground Ave., Greensboro, NC 27408 (0.6 miles)
Lucky City Book and Wine Bar, 125 S. Scales St., Reidsville, NC 27320 (20.9 miles)

Borders Bookstore #365
404-101 East Six Forks Road, Raleigh, NC 27609
Alternatives:
Edward McKay Books, 3514 Capital Blvd., Raleigh, NC 27604 (2.9 miles)
Quail Ridge Books, 3522 Wade Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27607 (4.1 miles)

Ohio

Borders Bookstore #347
9459 Colerain Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45251
Alternatives:
The Bookshelf, 7754 Camargo Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45243 (13.9 miles)
Passage Books, 126 Front St, New Richmond, Ohio 45157 (27.7 miles)

Borders Bookstore #172
6670 Sawmill Road, Columbus, OH 43235
Alternatives:
Cover to Cover Children’s Books, 3560 N High St., Columbus, Ohio 43214 (5.6 miles)
Karen Wickliff Books, 3527 N. High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43214 (5.6 miles)
Foul Play Mystery Books, 27 East College Avenue, Westerville, Ohio 43081 (7.7 miles)
Acorn Bookshop, 1464 West Fifth Ave., Columbus, Ohio 43212 (8.0 miles)
The Book Loft, 631 South Third Steet, Columbus, OH 43206 (16.1 miles) (Thanks, Dina Merrer)

Borders Bookstore #2:
4545 Kenny Road, Columbus, OH 43220
Alternatives:
Village Bookshop, 2424 W. Dublin Granville Road, Columbus, OH 43235 (1.8 miles)
Cover to Cover Books for Young Readers, 3560 N. High Street, Columbus, OH 43214 (2.7 miles)

Borders Bookstore #116
2700 Miamisburg Centerville Road, Suite 870, Dayton, OH 45459
Alternatives:
Bonnett’s, 502 E. 5th St., Dayton, Ohio 45402 (7.7 miles)
Blue Jacket Books, 60 South Detroit Street, Xenia, Ohio 45385 (12.8 miles)

Borders Bookstore #588
5105 Deerfield Blvd., Mason, OH 45040
Alternatives:
The Bookshelf, 7754 Camargo Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45243 (11.8 miles)
Books ‘N” More, 28 West Main Street, Wilmington, Ohio 45177 (26.0 miles)

Borders Bookstore #601
4927 Grande Shops Ave., Medina, OH 44256
Alternatives:
The Bookseller Inc., 39 Westgate Circle, Akron, OH 44313 (14.4 miles)
Baldwin-Wallace College Bookstore, Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, Ohio 44017 (16.0 miles)
Visible Voice Books, 1023 Kenilworth, Cleveland, Ohio 44113 (Thanks, Toni Thayer)
Fireside Book Shop, 29 North Franklin Street, Chagrin Falls, OH 44022 (Thanks, Toni Thayer)
Learned Owl Book Shop, 204 North Main Street, Hudson, OH 44236 (Thanks, Toni Thayer)

Borders Bookstore #358
9565 Mentor Avenue, Mentor, OH 44060
Alternatives:
Half Price Books, 9383 Mentor Ave., Mentor, OH 44060 (0.0 miles)
Joseph-Beth, 24519 Cedar Road, Lyndhurst, OH 44124 (15.6 miles)
Mac’s Backs, 1820 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118 (17.8 miles)
Appletree Books, 12419 Cedar Rd., Cleveland, OH 44106 (22.7 miles) (Thanks, Darby)
Loganberry Books, 13015 Larchmere Blvd., Shaker Heights, OH 44120 (25.6 miles) (Thanks, @SplatsReads)
Visible Voice Books, 1023 Kenilworth, Cleveland, Ohio 44113 (Thanks, Toni Thayer)
Fireside Book Shop, 29 North Franklin Street, Chagrin Falls, OH 44022 (Thanks, Toni Thayer)
Learned Owl Book Shop, 204 North Main Street, Hudson, OH 44236 (Thanks, Toni Thayer)
Village Bookstore, 8140 Main Street, Garrettsville, OH 44231 (35 miles) (Thanks, Ellen Eckhouse)

Oklahoma

Borders Bookstore #151
3209 Northwest Expressway, Oklahoma City, OK 73112
Alternatives:
Full Circle Books, 1900 NW Expressway, Oklahoma City, OK 73118 (0.2 miles)

Borders Bookstore #264
8015 S. Yale, Tulsa, OK 74136
Alternatives:
Steve’s Books, 2612 S Harvard Ave., Tulsa, Oklahoma 74114 (4.3 miles)
Books & Co., 2021 S Lewis Ave., Tulsa, OK 74104 (4.4 miles)

Pennsylvania

Borders Bookstore #455
3515 Gettysburg Road, Camp Hill, PA 17011
Alternatives:
Midtown Scholar, 1302 North Third Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110 (2.8 miles)
York Emporium, 343 West Market Street, York, Pennsylvania 17401 (21.8 miles) (Thanks Chrissy for website link)

Borders Bookstore #377
2088A Interchange Road, Erie, PA 16509
Alternatives:
Erie Books Galore, 5546 Peach Street, Erie, PA 16509-2604 (Thanks, Andrew)
Erie Bookstore, 37 East 13th Street, Erie, PA 16503 (9.1 miles)
The Last Wordsmith Shoppe, 17 East Main Street, North East, PA 16421 (11.4 miles)

Borders Bookstore #487
650 Mall Blvd., King of Prussia, PA 19406
Alternatives:
The Bookworm, 742 Main St., Phoenixville, PA 19460 (4.9 miles)
Wolfgang Books, 237 Bridge Street, Phoenixville, PA 19460 (5.4 miles) (Sadly, about to close: thanks, @Bookavore and Laura)
Wellington Square Bookshop, 549 Wellington Square, Exton, PA 19341 (Thanks Emma)
Chester County Book & Music Company, 975 Paoli Pike, West Chester, PA 19380 (Thanks Martha Bullen)

Borders Bookstore #204
2343 E. Lincoln Highway, Langhorne, PA 19047
Alternatives:
Newtown Books, 2829 South Eagle Road, Newtown, PA 18940 (4.1 miles)
Farley’s, 44 South Main Street, New Hope, PA 18938 (12.9 miles)

Borders Bookstore #143
200 Mall Blvd., Monroeville, PA 15146
Alternatives:
Mystery Lovers Bookshop, 514 Allegheny River Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA 15139 (7.0 miles)
Aspinwall, 20 Brilliant Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15215 (8.8 miles) (Thanks, @Twiittsburgh)
Caliban Books, 410 South Craig Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 (14.9 miles) (Thanks, Holly Mohr)
Townsend Booksellers, 4612 Henry St., Pittsburgh, PA 15213 (14.9 miles) (Thanks, Holly Mohr)
City Books, 1111 East Carson St., Pittsburgh, PA 15203 (16.8 miles) (Thanks, Holly Mohr)
Awesome Books, 5111 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15224 (Thanks, Andrea)

Borders Bookstore #9
1775 North Highland Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15241
Alternatives:
Bradley’s Book Cellar, 1948 Greentree Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15220 (6.6 miles)
Eljay’s Used Books, 1309 East Carson Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203 (10.4 miles)
Joseph-Beth, 2705 East Carson Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203 (10.8 miles) (Thanks, @Twittsburgh)

Borders Bookstore #457
5986 Penn Circles South, Suite 101, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Alternatives:
Aspinwall, 20 Brilliant Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15215 (1.6 miles)
Mystery Lovers Bookshop, 514 Allegheny River Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA 15139 (2.6 miles)

Borders Bookstore #175
1075 Woodland Road, Reading, PA 19610
Alternatives:
Saucony Books, 41 West Main Street, Kutztown, PA 19530 (15.4 miles)
Aaron’s Books, 43 South Broad Street, Lititz, PA 17543 (22.3 miles)

Borders Bookstore #345
1937 Whitehall Mall, Whitehall, PA 18052
Alternatives:
Blind Willow Book Shop, 412 Chestnut St., Emmaus, PA 18049 (4.3 miles)
Lion Around Books, 302 West Broad Street, Quakertown, PA 18951 (14.0 miles)
Moravian Bookshop, 428 Main Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018 (Thanks, Mary)

Tennessee

Borders Bookstore #536
545 Cool Springs Blvd., Suite 190, Franklin, TN 37067
Alternatives:
Landmark Books, 114 E Main St., Franklin, Tennessee 37064 (2.9 miles)
Mysteries & More, Lenox Village, Nashville, TN 37211 (6.9 miles)
Davis-Kidd, 2121 Green Hills Village Drive, Nashville, TN 37215 (8.3 miles) (Thanks to all for pointing out this closing.)
Rhino Books, 4006 Granny White Pike 37204, Nashville, TN 37209 (11.4 miles) (Thanks, James Harrington)
Bookman/Bookwoman, 1713 21st Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37212 (15.7 miles) (Thanks, James Harrington)
Elder’s Books, 2115 Elliston Pl, Nashville, TN 37203 (17.4 miles) (Thanks, James Harrington)
McKay Used Books, 5708 Charlotte Pike, Nashville, TN 37209-3215 (Thanks, Derek)

Texas

Borders Bookstore #367
4477 S. Lamar, Austin, TX 78745
Alternatives:
Monkeywrench Books, 110 E. North Loop, Austin, Texas 78751 (0.8 miles)
Book Woman, 5501 North Lamar Blvd., Austin, Texas 78751 (1.3 miles)
Brave New Books, 1904 Guadalupe Street
Austin, Texas 78705 (2.7 miles)
Bookpeople, 603 N. Lamar, Austin TX 78703 (Thanks, Jason)
12th Street Books, 827 West 12th Street, Austin, TX 78701 (Thanks, frogprof)

Borders Bookstore #103
3309 Espernza Crossing, Austin, TX 78758
Alternatives:
Book Woman, 5501 North Lamar Blvd., Austin, Texas 78751 (6.5 miles)
The Book Spot, 1205 Round Rock Ave #119, Round Rock, TX 78681 (6.6 miles)
Monkeywrench Books, 110 E. North Loop, Austin, Texas 78751 (6.9 miles)

Borders Bookstore #247
9500 South IH 35 Service Road, Southpark Meadows, Suite F, Austin, TX 78748
Alternatives:
BookPeople, 603 North Lamar, Austin, TX 78703 (6.4 miles)
Domy Books, 913 E Cesar Chavez, Austin, TX 78702 (7.1 miles)

Borders Bookstore #584
1131 N. Burleson Blvd., Burleson, TX 76028
Alternatives:
The Book Rack, 2304 W Park Row Dr # 15, Arlington, TX 76013 (11.6 miles)
Half Price Books, 5417 S. Hulen St., Fort Worth, TX 76132 (13.3 miles)
Half Price Books, 12616 S. Freeway, Burleson, TX 76028 (Thanks, Kirk)

Borders Bookstore #462
5615 Colleyville Blvd., Suite 100, Colleyvile, TX 76034
Alternatives:
The Book Carriage, 304 N. Oak St., Roanoke, TX 76262 (8.2 miles)
The Book Rack, 2304 W Park Row Dr # 15, Arlington, TX 76013 (11.8 miles)

Borders Bookstore #32
10720 Preston Road, Suite 1018, Dallas, TX 75230
Alternatives:
The Story Book House, 2925 Fairmount Drive, Dallas, TX 75201 (7.9 miles)
Weekend Reader, 4000 Pioneer Road
Balch Springs, TX 75180 (11.7 miles)

Borders Bookstore #612
3600 McKinney Avenue, Dallas, TX 75204
Alternatives:
The Story Book House, 2925 Fairmount Drive, Dallas, TX 75201 (1.1 miles)
Paperbacks Plus, 6115 La Vista, Dallas, TX 75214 (1.8 miles)
Weekend Reader, 4000 Pioneer Road
Balch Springs, TX 75180 (12.3 miles)

Borders Bookstore #146
2403 S. Stemmons, Suite 100, Lewisville, TX 75067
Alternatives:
Bookworm, 3245 Main Street, Frisco, Texas 75034 (11.2 miles)
Adventure Bookshop, 7080 Main Street, Frisco, Texas 75034 (12.9 miles)
The Book Carriage, 304 N. Oak St., Roanoke, TX 76262 (13.1 miles)

Borders Bookstore #541
2709 N. Mesquite Drive, Mesquite, TX 75150
Alternatives:
Paperbacks Plus, 108 E. Davis Street;
Mesquite, TX 75149 (5.1 miles)
Weekend Reader, 4000 Pioneer Road
Balch Springs, TX 75180 (8.6 miles)

Borders Bookstore #90
1601 Preston Road, Suite J, Plano, TX 75093-5101
Alternatives:
Bookworm, 3245 Main Street, Frisco, Texas 75034 (6.8 miles)
Adventure Bookshop, 7080 Main Street, Frisco, Texas 75034 (6.8 miles)

Utah

Borders Bookstore #553
1050 North Main Street, Logan, UT 84321
Alternatives:
The Book Table, 29 South Main Street Logan, UT 84321 (0.2 miles) (Thanks, Sarah)
The Book Shelf 3.0, 2671 Washington Blvd., Ogden, UT 84401 (30.7 miles)
The New Wisebird Bokery, 4850 Harrison Blvd., Ogden, UT 84403 (33.3 miles)
The REaD Cat Bookstore, 189 S. State St., Clearfield, UT 84015 (38.5 miles)

Borders Bookstore #274
132 E. Winchester, Murray, UT 84107
Alternatives:
King’s English, 1511 South 1500 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84105 (6.6 miles)
Sam Weller’s Books, 254 South Main Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84101 (8.5 miles)

Virginia

Borders Bookstore #92
9750 W. Broad Street, Glen Allen, VA 23060
Alternatives:
Book People, 536 Granite Ave., Richmond, VA 23226 (6.0 miles)
Tumbleweeds Used Bookstore, 2715 Buford Road, Richmond, VA 23235 (8.8 miles)
Carytown Books, 4021 MacArthur Avenue, Richmond, VA 23227 (Thanks, Pamela K. Kinney)
Twice Told Tales, 6658 Main Street, Gloucester Court House, VA 23061 (Thanks, Pamela K. Kinney)

Borders Bookstore #682
12300 Jefferson Ave., Suite 100, Newport News, VA 23602
Alternatives:
The Way We Were, 32 East Mellen Street, Hampton, VA 23663 (10.9 miles) (Thanks, @muttinmall)
Jeannie’s Used Books, 3202 High Street, Portsmouth, VA 23707 (19.4 miles)
Prince Books, 109 East Main Street, Norfolk, VA 23510 (19.7 miles)

Borders Bookstore #636
1240 Stafford Market Place, Stafford, VA 22556
Alternatives:
Griffin Bookshop and Coffee Bar, 106 Hanover Street, Fredericksbug, VA 22401 (12.2 miles)
Riverby Books, 805 Caroline St., Fredericksburg, VA 22401 (12.2 miles)

Borders Bookstore #29
8027 Leesburg Pike, Suite 100, Vienna, VA 22182
Alternatives:
One More Page, 2200 N. Westmoreland St., Arlington, VA 22213 (7.1 miles)
Booktopia, 4701 Sangamore Road, Betheseda, MD 20816 (8.6 miles)
Already Read Used Books, 2501 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 (11.8 miles) (Thanks, Diane & Ken)
Book Bank Used Books, 1510 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 (12 miles) (Thanks, Diane & Ken)
Hurray for Books!, 1555 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 (12 miles) (Thanks, Diane & Ken)

Borders Bookstore #685
2420 S. Pleasant Valley Road, Winchester, VA 22601
Alternatives:
Winchester Book Gallery, 185 N. Loudoun St., Winchester, VA (0.0 miles)
Blue Plate Books, 2261 Valley Ave., Winchester, VA (0.0 miles)

Washington

Borders Bookstore #234
4601 Point Fosdick Dr. NW, Gig Habor, WA 98335
Alternatives:
Mostly Books, 3126 Harborview Drive, Gig Harbor, Washington 98335 (0.0 miles)
King’s Books, 218 St Helens Ave Tacoma, WA 98402 (12.1 miles) (Thanks Grace Baldwin)
A Novel Bookstore, 305 1st St., S. #1, Yelm, WA 98597
A Good Book Cafe, 1014 Main Street, Sumner, WA 98390
(Thanks to Marcus for pointing out the wrong ZIP code)

Borders Bookstore #619
3000 184th Street SW, Suite 910, Lynnwood, WA 98037
Alternatives:
University Book Store, 15311 Main Street, Mill Creek, WA 98012 (4.0 miles)
Edmonds Bookshop, 111 5th Avenue South, Edmonds, WA 98020 (4.1 miles)
Third Place Books, 17171 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park, WA 98155 (6.5 miles) (Thanks, Emily)

Wisconsin

Borders Bookstore #336
8705 N. Port Washington, Fox Point, WI 53217
Alternatives:
Next Chapter Bookshop, 10976 North Port Washington Road, Mequon, WI 53092 (3.5 miles)
Boswell Book Company, 2559 N Downer Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53211 (7.4 miles)
Woodland Pattern Book Center, 720 E Locust St, Milwaukee, WI 53212 (8.56 miles) (Thanks, Cathy Cunningham)

Borders Bookstore #467
5250 S. 76th Street, Greendale, WI 53129
Alternatives:
Broad Vocabulary, 2241 South Kinnickinnic Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53207 (6.6 miles)
The Little Read Book, 7603 West State St., Wauwatosa, WI 53123 (7.8 miles)

Borders Bookstore #3
3750 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53705
Alternatives:
Booked for Murder, 2701 University Ave., Madison, WI 53705 (0.0 miles)
University Book Store, 711 State Street, Madison, WI 53703 (1.9 miles)
Avol’s Books, 315 West Gorham Street, Madison, WI 53703 (2.2 miles)
A Room of One’s Own, 307 W. Johnson St., Madison, WI 53703 (Thanks, Colette Cabralle)

Borders Bookstore #543
101 West Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53203
Alternatives:
Mystery One Bookshop, 2109 N. Prospect Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202 (2.0 miles)
Broad Vocabulary, 2241 South Kinnickinnic Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53207 (2.4 miles)
Woodland Pattern Book Center, 720 E Locust St, Milwaukee, WI 53212 (2.8 miles) (Thanks, Cathy Cunningham)

(Image: Brian Rudnick)

Are Bookstores Being Too Censorious With Author Events?

Jennifer Weiner is a best-selling author. And while her latest novel, Best Friends Forever, proved popular enough to hit #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, this didn’t stop a Barnes & Noble bookstore in Framingham, Massachusetts from raising a censorious eyebrow.

Some bookstores have begun instituting informal policies which preclude authors from using four-letter words during a public reading. And even dependable draws like Weiner are being asked to hold their tongues. These developments — reflected most recently in the Weiner case — raise new questions about just how much an author is allowed to get away with in the 21st century and whether bookstore policies that are understandably intended to protect children are going too far.

The trouble for Weiner began when she playfully announced the “potty-mouthed” nature of her Best Friends Forever book tour on Twitter. Shortly after her Philadelphia reading, Weiner later tweeted that she had received a warning:

weinertweet

Weiner carried on with the Framingham gig without setting off any F-bombs, and applied her saucy language instead to the inscriptions. (After tweeting about the Framingham event, the organizer of a subsequent off-site event in St. Louis encouraged Weiner to be extra raunchy.)

“I can’t imagine it’s a blanket B&N policy,” said Weiner. “I kicked off the Best Friends Forever tour at the Barnes & Noble in Lincoln Triangle in New York City, and I said ‘cock’ like nine times and told a story about a Hitachi Magic Wand, and the manager seemed perfectly okay with it (my poor editor, who brought her parents to the reading, not so much). As much as I’d like to turn this into a ‘corporate stiffs censor freewheeling lady writer because the world hates it when a lady succeeds’ story, I honestly think it was just this one bookstore, that one afternoon, making a not-unreasonable request.”

A list of questions was sent to Mary Ellen Keating, Barnes and Noble’s senior vice president of corporate communication and public affairs. But there was no response. I was able to reach Margaret Moore, the community relations manager of the Framingham store, by phone. But she was extremely nervous, even when I assured her that I was merely determining questions of policy. I did receive a return phone call from Maddie Hjulstrom, a regional community relations manager at Barnes and Noble, who was gracious enough to talk with me.

Hjulstrom informed me that the email had been sent by Moore when Moore had “learned that Ms. Weiner’s language was colorful at her discussions.”

According to Weiner, the Framingham controversy arose out of concerns that the reading area was adjacent to the children’s section and that Weiner’s scheduled reading time — 3:00 PM — would be too early to account for the hallowed ears of tots.

“Because the event was on a Sunday afternoon,” said Weiner, “I think the bookstore managers reasonably expected that there would be kids there, and felt that they could reasonably ask me to tone down the cussing.”

This was confirmed by Hjulstrom, who told me that the objections had to do with the microphone’s close placement to the children’s department and the possibility that Weiner’s amplified words might drift like cigarette smoke into a 1980s restaurant’s nonsmoking section.

“We want to be respectful of young families and children,” said Hjulstrom. “We don’t regulate where children are in our store. At 3:00 PM, it might be a problem.”

Had Barnes & Noble ever received any customer complaints because of an author or a poet using salty language during a reading? Hjulstrom told me that she couldn’t give me an example of the Framingham store having received a single customer complaint, but that the region, as a whole, had received a few complaints.

The Barnes & Noble “no salty language” policy is, according to Hjulstrom, “not a written policy, just common courtesy.” It is something that is determined on a case-by-case basis.

“All we can do is ask,” said Hjulstrom. “We don’t enforce. We don’t kick them out of their store. We just ask them to respect the children who are in the stores.”

I asked Hjulstrom what might happen if an author used salty language, but did not receive a single customer complaint.

“I’m not comfortable going into what ifs,” replied Hjulstrom. “I just want to deal with the facts.”

But the prohibition causes one to wonder why bookstores — even with the possibility of a child lurking around a bookstore late at night — would be so offended by a monosyllabic exclamation that anyone who has ever stubbed a toe is quite familiar with. Were there efforts by Weiner and Barnes and Noble to broker a last-minute deal?

“We didn’t try to broker a compromise mostly because there wasn’t time,” explained Weiner. “The best solution would have been either to hold the event somewhere else, or after dark, and with just over twenty-four hours, on a weekend, to either reschedule or relocate, that just didn’t seem feasible. And again, once I got over my reflexive ‘the MAN is trying to SHUT ME UP’ paranoia, it didn’t seem like a crazy thing to ask. I’ve got little kids, and if I took them into a bookstore on a Sunday afternoon to pick up the latest Sandra Boynton or ‘Junie B. Jones,’ I probably wouldn’t be thrilled to find some lady standing behind a microphone talking, as I tend to, about ‘wall-to-wall cock.'”

Still, independent bookstores such as San Francisco’s The Booksmith have conducted numerous author events in its children’s section, closing the section off to make room for the audience to sit down. Booksmith co-owner Praveen Madan informed me that, while there are generally no kids around at the time of the event, his bookstore doesn’t make any concessions if an event takes place in the middle of the day.

“We take freedom of speech very seriously and even the suggestion of us laying down any kind of censoring guidelines for authors makes me cringe,” said Madan. “And the issue here is more than freedom of speech. We believe it’s important for authors to be authentic and credible, and sometimes being authentic requires saying things that might end up offending some people. I would rather shut down the bookstore and sell falafels than try to engineer an author’s talk to make the author more palatable for a certain audience. You should be clear about what business you are in. We are in the business of intellectual discourse and opening people’s minds to new ideas and possibilities. If you want to be in the business of reinforcing people’s existing belief systems, than you should run a religious institution or radio talk show, not a bookstore.”

It’s also worth observing that prohibitions on what an author can say at a reading can sometimes have unexpected side effects. As Tayari Jones observed on her blog recently, the author can feel oddly shamed when contending with a complaint.

Jessica Stockton Bagnulo, formerly of McNally Jackson and now working hard to open the Greenlight Bookstore in Fort Greene this autumn, says that there was never a policy prohibiting language or controversial topics at an author event when she worked at McNally. But she did mention that she hoped to be more sensitive to such matters at Greenlight.

“We don’t intend to set any blanket policy,” said Bagnulo. “I think for the most part we will trust our customers to know whether an author is going to be inappropriate for their children or potentially offensive to their own sensibilities. As long as we make clear from the outset what the event is likely to contain, we won’t try to restrict or prohibit authors from anything they’d like to say.”

Even if the event is scheduled in the middle of the day?

“Not unless it’s an event specifically geared toward kids,” replied Bagnulo. “For example, at McNally we held a Halloween event that had kids programming earlier in the day, and some adult authors reading later that had lots of graphic blood and gore.”

Before the Framingham incident, Weiner had never received any complaints from a bookstore for her act. But censorship issues aren’t limited to the big box stores. Weiner alluded to an incident that came from an ostensible independent:

“In 2001, when Good in Bed came out, I did hear from one independent bookstore somewhere in the Midwest that an older gentleman had objected to a cover featuring the book’s poster (naked legs and cheesecake) in the window. But that’s as close to censorship as I’ve come.”

For what it’s worth, Weiner did say that she would do an event at the Framingham bookstore again: “I’d just make sure it was an evening event, or that it was held somewhere far, far away from the innocent ears of children.”

“In general, we feel that authors these days have become rather conservative and risk averse because they are trying to become bestsellers and are afraid of stirring controversy,” said Madan. “I wish more authors would pick topics that might be controversial and not worry about offending people. There are important topics being ignored and we all tend to surround ourselves with people we agree with and we like.”

“I think that indie bookstores work to create an environment of mutual respect between authors and audiences,” said Bagnulo, “where what is controversial is taken in context as part of the conversation, and there’s enough transparency of intention that people are unlikely to be offended.

“It’s not a bad idea to mention ahead of time, ‘Hey, I work blue,'” said Weiner, “but it’s never been a problem in the past, and I don’t really expect it to be a problem going forward.”

Inside BookTour.com: A Q&A With Kevin Smokler

ksmoklerIn 2006, Kevin Smokler, the speaker and editor behind Bookmark Now, partnered with Chris Anderson, editor of Wired, and software developer Adam Goldstein to determine just how information about bookstore events and authors might be collected at an online hub. That central place turned out to be BookTour.com, which purports to make “finding when a favorite author is coming to your town as easy as checking the weather.”

This sunny mission got a much needed dose of radiation back in April when BookTour received a $350,000 cash injection from Amazon.com. While the news was eclipsed by the Amazonfail contretemps at the time, the big financial push certainly suggested that BookTour.com wasn’t about to set into the sunset anytime soon.

At the time the deal was announced, nobody had remarked on the grand irony of an online giant like Amazon using events listed at independent bookstores to make a quick buck. Fortunately, BookTour CEO and Chief Evangelist Kevin Smokler was kind enough to take some time out to answer some vital questions.

BookTour is financially supported by Amazon. Isn’t there a conflict of interest here? If, for example, a customer sees the BookTour link on an Amazon Author Page but the customer is encouraged to purchase the book from Amazon (instead of the bookstore at an author appearance), doesn’t this result in a lost sale for the bookstore? What steps are you taking to ensure that independent bookstores are able to secure the sales they require to support the financial burden of an author appearance?

Ed, we’re in the awareness business. Our job is make author events known to the greatest number of people that we can. No doubt that some potential customers who spot an event on Amazon will buy the book there and either (a) not go to the event at all or (b) go to the event with that Amazon purchase in hand. However, there’s an entire other second class of potential event attendees who will go to an event and may wish to reserve judgment on buying a book until they see the author in person. At that point, only the bookstore is in a position to sell the book to them. Also, we must consider whether that person would have known of the event at all without it being listed in such a high traffic place like Amazon.

Bottom line: The level of awareness that an event receives when listed on Amazon, to our mind, far outweighs the potential loss of sales. As to whether a store can financially support an event, that’s up to them. There are plenty of ways to run a bookstore in the 21st century and we believe smart booksellers know much more about this than we do.

Since BookTour is reliant on the Amazon Author Page for its infrastructure, have you worked out a scenario in which an Indiebound link will be available on an Amazon Author Page?

Sort of. Amazon has a corporate policy which disallows any outside linking to anybody. It’s a policy that BookTour disagrees with and which we have made known to Amazon. We hope to change this as our relationship with them deepens and moves forward.

For now, any bookstore may include a link to their e-commerce operation inside the description of any event happening at their store, so long as they added the event to our database. If their store’s website is powered by IndieBound, they need only include that link in the event description and the feed arrangement we have with IndieBound takes care of the rest.

(That link is not a clickable link, only one that can be cut and pasted into a separate browser window.)

We realize this is far from an ideal solution and we have told Amazon as much. We hope to change this going forward.

You say in your press release that Booktour represents the largest database of author and literary events. Do you mean to say that you now have relationships with every publisher? What are you doing to ensure the reliability of this information? Do you have someone on board who is checking the data on your site against the bookstores and the publishers?

Many publishers, but not all. Via our syndication relationships with both chain and independent booksellers, we can assure that we cover nearly every event happening in America in a bookstore. Libraries, universities, corporations, civic institutions and individual authors and publicists all actively list with us as well.

Reliability: Every event that enters our database is checked against several automated scripts and algorithms. We also do an additional level of checking by human eyes. All told, incorrect event data rarely lives on BookTour for more than 24 hours.

Checking: For more than a year, we’ve had syndication relationships with the major bookstore chains and Indiebound. Meaning they send their upcoming events in an automated feed to us which we update every 24 hours. We just set up a similar relationship with Simon & Schuster and we have several such relationships under active development with other publishers.

Is the information on Booktour proprietary in any way?

No.

Are you applying any DRM?

No.

Is Amazon claiming it to be proprietary because it appears on their pages?

No.

If Booktour is open source, do you have a specific agreement in place with Amazon to ensure that the information, as disseminated through their pages, remains open source?

Yes. Part of the terms of our deal with Amazon was that anyone else is free to use our data exactly as Amazon does, now and in perpetuity.

You’ve introduced EventMinion, which will take author tour data in any format and permit professionals to enter it into your database at $1 a pop. Yet users will still be able to add events for free. How are you distinguishing between EventMinion-added events and user-added events?

We’re not. To us, an event is an event is an event.

Will you place greater priority to listing EventMinion events over the user-added events?

No. See above.

TourBuilder gives the author an opportunity to receive an automated itinerary of bookstores. Are you charging for this service?

No.

Are you prioritizing some cities over others for this?

No. Users choose which cities they want to visit. If they don’t, we suggest larger cities with more available venues.

Big box stores over independent stores?

No.

Then what is the methodology behind TourBuilder?

Venues are suggested based on where authors with similar books have toured in the past. Which means that the more authors that use TourBuilder, the smarter it gets.

If Amazon controls the minority stake, who controls the majority?

The three founders and our one employee.

To what extent is the majority committed to not being bought out by Amazon (as they are wont to do with such handy services that it deems valuable)?

We’ll certainly entertain an offer should they put one forward. But that also doesn’t preclude us from entertaining offers from other interested parties.

Thomas Gladysz Laid Off from Booksmith

gladyszI have learned that Thomas Gladysz, the events coordinator for the now less wonderful San Francisco bookstore Booksmith, has been let go by new owners Christin Evans and Praveen Madan. No explanation given, but presumably it’s “the economy.” Thomas had been at the Booksmith for 21 years, and the man had events coordination down to a science. Not only was he one of the vital guys who held the Haight’s literary community together, but he was always very kind and courteous — even to loudmouth regulars like me. One of his many achievements involved organizing and hosting Allen Ginsberg’s last reading — this, when the man was dying. Without Thomas, the bookstore simply won’t be the same. I recognize the need for change in this ever-shifting economy, but getting rid of Thomas is hardly conducive to making a store “an integral part of the neighborhood,” as the smug Chuck Nevius boasted only a few weeks ago. Evans and Madan owe the San Francisco literary community a transparent explanation for this disgraceful move. Canning veterans like Thomas is hardly “building the independent bookstore for the 21st century,” as the Booksmith’s website now boasts. It’s more like lopping off one of the legs that made the bookstore a serious player in the first place. (Rather criminally, there is no mention of this terrible news at SFist or the ostensibly Bay Area-based litblog, Conversational Reading. What a way to stand up for the little guy. For goodness sake, Smokler, can you look into this story?)

Stacey’s Closes

Stacey’s, the dependable bookstore on Market Street that kept many Financial District serfs reading good books, is going to be closing in March, and I’m more than a little devastated. This was a bookstore that helped me in more than a few small ways to become who I am today. While working any number of dull and brainless jobs in my twenties, both temporary and permanent, in which I had to pretend to be an idiot for eight hours to pay the rent, I would often set off to Stacey’s during my lunch hour and discover some novel that I didn’t know anything about. It was at Stacey’s where I discovered William Gaddis, and where I purchased the dogeared copy of The Recognitions that still sits on my stacks. It was at Stacey’s where I first purchased books by Nicholson Baker and David Markson. It was at Stacey’s where I saw Douglas Adams read from Starship Titanic, among many other authors. My employers at the time paid close attention to the white Stacey’s bags that would proliferate underneath my desk in the late afternoon. There were four incidents when I was rudely asked, not more than twenty minutes into my lunch hour and before I had even grabbed something to eat, to come back to the office to work on some pressing and mundane task, because those who employed me knew that I could be found at Stacey’s, lost amidst all the great books. A few of them resented me for having the temerity to read or get excited about books (one even asking me, “Why are you wasting your time reading?”), but I regularly purchased books for those who didn’t. Because of Stacey’s, I managed to get two very wonderful Ukranian ladies hooked on Dickens and Updike, and even procured slang dictionaries to help them learn a number of key phrases that could help them out. (It occurs to me now that Stacey’s actually urged me to become an informal teacher and an under-the-radar encourager. Good Christ, how many others did the bookstore help to blossom?)

Sure, you could walk up Columbus and go to City Lights, which remains a wonderful bookstore. But with City Lights, you somehow felt that you were cheating. Because you were walking into a different neighborhood. Stacey’s was perhaps the only place within the Financial District that had quirky or experimental novels running deliberately at odds with the base capitalism still sprinkling throughout that area of San Francisco. Stacey’s opened their doors and somehow knew that you were still trying to figure out how to make that great artistic leap forward. They knew that you had a little bit of expendable income from your day job, but they regularly offered special sales to loyal customers and kept you coming back.

Stacey’s not only had a great fiction selection, but an ample nonfiction selection. I must have dropped thousands of dollars there over the years.

It was the oldest bookstore operating in San Francisco: older even than City Lights. And while City Lights could easily dwarf Stacey’s in terms of poetry selection, what was special about Stacey’s was that, if you were a geek, you could get any number of the thick and helpful computer handbooks upstairs. (Stacey’s was the kind of bookstore that convinced me that I could learn JavaScript. And while this proved to be something that I could not do, the fact that I went down that avenue is of great credit to Stacey’s.)

The hell of it is that, in all my years of being a Stacey’s customer, I never knew that Colleen worked there. That working at Stacey’s could lead you down some path as an adept book industry professional says much about the bookstore’s power and draw.

The closing of Stacey’s leaves a terrible cavity in a part of San Francisco that urgently needs knowledge and imagination to help members of the white-collar underclass to get by. Yes, we’ll always have City Lights. But jumping into a Trojan horse is more subversive and liberating.

The Bat Segundo Show: Alex Beckstead

Alex Beckstead appeared on The Bat Segundo Show #251.

Mr. Beckstead is the filmmaker behind Paperback Dreams, a documentary on independent bookstores. The documentary is now touring around the nation and is making appearances on PBS.

Condition of Mr. Segundo: Surrendering to hard-boiled journalists.

Guest: Alex Beckstead

Subjects Discussed: Why Beckstead singled out Cody’s and Kepler’s over other Bay Area bookstores, Kepler’s as a prominent fixture on the Menlo Park town square, the Cody’s “hail Mary” play in San Francisco, business location problems in Union Square, the commercial viability of Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, the Bay Bridge as the cultural Berlin Wall, the question of why Cody’s didn’t survive in the present age when it survived the seedy environment of the 1960s and the 1970s, economic vs. cultural shifts, passion and independents, the absurdity of buying everything online, Amazon, bookstore proprietors who don’t own their buildings, the graying of bookstore customers, Andy Ross vs. Clark Kepler as successful bookseller, the independent bookstore as cultural space, listening to the customer base, the importance of being an entrepreneur, comparisons between bookstores and movie theaters as glorified snack bars, the two storefront dilemma, the bookseller as philanthropist, an independent bookseller’s responsibility to the community, the conglomeration of publishers and the lack of dangerous books on the market, Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses and the Cody’s firebombing, books vs. music as a medium, whether or not the Internet is bad for books, gatekeepers, the importance of the countercultural movement to independent bookselling, and the ubiquity of Amazon vs. the selection of a bookseller.

EXCERPT FROM SHOW:

Beckstead: I didn’t smell blood in the water. I didn’t go in thinking, “Okay, well this is going to be a failure.” I mean, it was a huge risk. The kind of thing that Andy [Ross] was doing, there was going to be a dramatic outcome one way or the other. Either he wasn’t going to make it and then the losses were going to be catastrophic or he was going to make it and sort of prove that somewhere, somehow, an independent bookstore can still make it. That was the outcome I was still rooting for. But that’s not what happened.

Correspondent: But simultaneously, you do have footage of Andy Ross, as the bookstore is opening. He’s saying very proudly in the streets how banks won’t lend him money, how he’s putting his entire savings into this “hail Mary” — we’ll call it that, I suppose, because it did indeed go belly up. And at the end of the film, he even says, “This was a colossal act of hubris.” I mean, this store was operational at the expense of the Telegraph store.

Beckstead: Well, the Telegraph store wasn’t making money. That’s what people need to understand. You know, the Telegraph store was not going to survive. It might have limped along for another year or two, had Andy not opened San Francisco. But it was losing a lot of money. The kind of books that historically sold were not selling well there. And I think Andy’s reasoning was that, when they opened the second store in Berkeley in ’98 — you know, Cody’s on Fourth Street — that store became very successful very quickly. It was smaller than Telegraph. There’s a whole other thing about Telegraph. It’s always been a little edgy, but it’s kind of got a little bit seedy. There’s a high rate of vacancies along Telegraph Avenue. I was talking at one point, when we were making the film, with the owner of Ameoba Music. He has a very large record store on Haight Street in San Francisco and then also on Telegraph. It’s still not clear to me exactly who’s to blame for the decline of Telegraph. But it’s clear. He was saying that there’s hardly any vacancies on Haight Street. It’s very similar in terms of the kind of people who spend time there. Similar problems with aggressive panhandling. With drug dealing and all those sorts of things. But Haight Street does fine. For some reason, Telegraph does not.

Telegraph was in decline. Fourth Street was really taking off as a shopping district. I can’t remember the exact number, but it’s something like 20 to 30% of the sales tax revenue for the City of Berkeley comes from Fourth Street. And Cody’s was the biggest shop on the block. They were the anchor on Fourth Street. So I think Andy’s logic was: We opened a second store in a more upscale shopping neighborhood. That quickly became profitable. Not quite profitable enough to hold Telegraph as well. But maybe if we did the same thing on a bigger scale, then we’d have two successful stores and one that was kind of slowly dying. But maybe we could subsidize it long enough to figure out what was going to happen. I mean, there’s been talk of turning around Telegraph Avenue for years. So I think that he was really optimistic that you could do that. But, yeah, it wasn’t the right call at the end of the day.

BSS #251: Alex Beckstead (Download MP3)

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Ohmigod! City Lights!

Like Mr. Orthofer, I’m both delighted and appalled to see City Lights get the profile treatment. There isn’t time right now to investigate whether Times contributor Megan Walsh has a troublesome history of inserting these corny, oh-so-obvious “comic” observations in her work. But I can assure her that City Lights, while jutting in a diagonal manner along the edge of Columbus, is far from “a cake slice of a bookshop.” This concern for the store’s physical appearance overshadows its more important attribute. City Lights maintains a great poetry selection and also keeps such authors as Eric Kraft, Kathy Acker, Gilbert Sorrentino, and Stanley Elkin circulating in the stacks. And aside from the fact that Mr. Ferlinghetti himself is not what one might call an etiolated individual, countercultures, last I heard, have not faded away. They’re still around if you look a little. Unless, of course, your tastes and perceptive faculties are safer than a reverend who is overly concerned about his stature in a small town.

In Defense of Sitting in Bookstores

This Baltimore Sun item describes how the big box bookstores are no longer placing the nooks, crannies, and chairs that were once de rigueur a few decades ago. In the case of Borders, the chain has cut back their soft seating by 30%. The complaints are the usual ones: the homeless, necking lovers, people leaving trash behind, and other assorted riff-raff. (Of course, it’s not as if these prohibitive factors didn’t exist when the bookstores did provide more seating.)

Customers seem to be lounging in the bookstores anyway, sitting on the floor and sometimes not buying anything at all. But is this really so bad? One might argue that Starbucks’ tolerance for sitters who don’t purchase a cafe au lait, or anything at all really, may very well be one of the reasons why it’s impossible to wander around Manhattan without running into one of those monolithic green circles — sometimes with remarkable square footage. And there’s a considerable difference in profit margin between a $29.95 hardcover and a $2.95 cafe au lait. But you don’t see Starbucks cutting back on its soft seating.

All this reminds me of what Jane Jacobs had to say about people being naturally inclined to sit on steps and how these recurrent populist acts — wholly natural, of course — led to strange underclass labels. What’s to suggest that people naturally sitting in a bookstore won’t bring in long-term revenue over time? Can’t a bookstore learn a few things from coffeehouse culture and be a kind of community? If people are permitted to sit and congregate without being badgered by a humorless manager, they might meet a friend who, in turn, might purchase a few books. Further, book enthusiasts tend to be natural browsers, often pinpointing particular volumes for later purchase. Is not a certain amount of tolerance for the literary inclined a sound business proposition?

Sure, some of the sitters will be inveterate slobs. And you’ll need staff to clean up messes and restock books. But it’s a small price to pay for an amicable atmosphere. Maybe I simply have more faith in humankind than the iron-fisted Borders executives. But I’ve found that most people, barring a few assholes who try to make everyone’s lives miserable, are pretty polite and friendly. So why be discourteous and force them sit on the floor?

(via Galleycat)

[UPDATE: While I didn’t have the time to dig up my copy of Jane Jacobs’s The Death and Life of Great American Cities and a few other New Urbanist books to quote for this post, Charlottesville Words thankfully drew a few comparisons between this seating imbroglio and Paco Underhill’s Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping.]

Waldenbooks Stores Replaced by “Concept Stores”

It’s been a long time since I’ve set foot into a Waldenbooks store, but Bloomberg reports that Waldenbooks is shutting half of its stores, selling the majority of its international division after an unexpected loss. Waldenbooks is owned by Borders Group Inc. and CEO George Jones has said that Borders’ new focus will be giving its larger bookstores an overhaul and revamping its website. The ever-reliable Jim Milliot has more: Borders will be developing a new “concept store” this year, with the first one set to open early next year. There’s no word on whether these “concept stores” will be the capitalist equivalent of a 1970s progressive rock album, but Jones did remark, “We have too much inventory in our stores.” Whether “too much inventory” translates into not enough blockbusters and fewer independent titles is a mystery, but it recalls a particular Anne Sexton poem that doesn’t exactly leave readers performing happy pirouettes on an expansive lawn.

Support Your Local Indie Bookstores

Los Angeles Times: “This is the paradox of modern bookselling. Even in an entertainment-saturated age, people still buy books. But the casual reader has many other places to get bestsellers and topical books, from warehouse stores to the mall. Meanwhile, book nuts — the ones who simply must buy several volumes a week — are lured online. Few businesses can survive that lose customers from both ends of the spectrum.”

Dutton’s Brentwood is In Trouble

Los Angeles Times: “If these changes in the literary landscape are evoking intense emotion in the city’s bookish set — from declarations of devotion to accusations of betrayal — it’s nothing like what could be unleashed if a long-developing plot twist comes to pass: The three-section, nearly 5,000-square-foot Dutton’s Brentwood Books may soon succumb to its landlord’s plans to redevelop the site, part of a compound on San Vicente Boulevard.” (via James Tata)

An Open Letter to Andy Ross

Dear Andy:

Thank you for surrendering Cody’s to a corporation. I’m sure that Yohan, Inc., with its concentration on distributing foreign books and magazines, has the experience and the niche interest to keep the two remaining Cody’s stores truly independent. I’m positive they won’t turn the stores into crappy franchises no less distinct than a B. Dalton outlet. Sure.

But I know how you’ll justify all this, Mr. Ross. You didn’t sell out. You bought in. It was the “market,” after all, that killed off Cody’s. Not the fact that you took over Planet Hollywood’s old space on Stockton Street, which probably had a rent that was a shitload more expensive than the original Telegraph Avenue store that you so gracelessly killed. Fred Cody is spinning in his grave right around now. He never would have let this happen.

The fact of the matter is that you didn’t have the courage to tell people that you were ready to hang up your hat. You ran this transaction through fast — without trying to find a responsible buyer who gave a damn about books and bookstores. Someone who would carry the Cody’s legacy into the 21st century.

Well, I hope you’re sitting pretty on that small fortune. You didn’t even have the balls to talk to the Berkeley Daily Planet, the newspaper that broke the story. Instead, you farmed out the duties to poor Fred’s widow, Pat Cody, who had to begrudgingly remark that this was “a good thing.”

Well, it’s not a good thing, Andy. It’s not good that you let one of the greatest indie bookstores that ever graced the Bay Area die and placed what was left well on the path to ruins. It’s not good that you cower away and let others do your talking for you. It’s not good that you betrayed a Berkeley landmark the same way that Justin Herman killed the Fillmore in the 1960s or that Robert Moses tampered with New York.

Very truly yours,

Edward Champion

George Jones is an Idea Man

In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, new Borders CEO George Jones said, “I have a ton of ideas of things I can do with the relationships I built over those years in Hollywood that I think I can tap into that could help differentiate us as a company and make us stand out versus our competitors.”

By a strange coincidence, Return of the Reluctant received an email this morning from an anonymous Borders employee. The email contained an attachment: a scanned image of a crude handwritten note with the header “George’s Ideas.” I have no idea if this note was scribbled at a company meeting (by Jones’ own hand or one of his minions?) or if the thoughts were taken down by Jones’ personal assistant. (I understand he has twelve of them now.) But it took me about 90 minutes to decipher the unruly scrawl, but here is my best stab:

GEORGE’S IDEAS

1. Hire MovieTunes guy to replace classical music over store speakers. Play adult contemporary music (Book tie-in? What about the Rock Bottom Remainders?) and bombard customer base with title suggestions. Frequently use words like “hot” and “exciting” to create sense of excitement. Consult marketing team for latest buzz words.

2. Place screens at various points in the store and display advertisements from local businesses with book trivia. Keep trivia questions simple so as not to challenge customer base. (Ex.: “Who wrote Moby Dick?”)

3. Hire paparazzi reporters to accompany and harass writers at book signings. We need spectacle. Add velvet rope and grunts in black shirts reading SECURITY during autograph sessions. Manhandle the plebs. Let them wait. We want star power, motherfuckers!

4. Replace all cafes with concession stands and raise prices to increase profit margin. What were they thinking with these espressos? If you keep the customer base awake, they will stick around and disrupt our staff from stocking. We don’t want this. Bog their stomachs down with buttered popcorn and Milk Duds so that they’ll have to leave. Deny access to bathroom to discourage them from lingering. We need to adopt a new strategy here: our customers need to buy their books and leave. Change refund policy to make it more difficult for them to return stock. Adopt 15% restocking fee.

5. Pay all employees at minimum wage and hire cash-starved teenagers instead of book enthusiasts. We’ll be able to cut our payroll costs down and, more importantly, discourage banter between staff and customers. This will permit our customers to buy books accidentally. Let them do the footwork if they need a particular title.

6. If the staff absolutely must talk with customers, let them begin all answers to questions with the phrase, “In a world….”

A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, Inc.

This morning, Publishers Weekly reported that Books, Inc. would be taking over the space now being abandoned by A Clean, Well-Lighted Place for Books. This is a great move on several levels: For one thing, the space remains devoted to the taste and sensibilities of an independent bookstore. Second, with eleven stores in its chain, Books, Inc. will have fallback stores to draw from should their operations at the Van Ness Avenue location flounder. As owner Michael Tucker puts it in the PW article, “Ten years ago I found myself facing the exact same dilemma and we had to close ten of 12 stores. Now we’re back up to 11.” (Thanks to Dan Wickett for the tip!)

Another One Bites the Dust

A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books: “We deeply regret to announce that we will be closing A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books as soon as we can liquidate our inventory.”

[UPDATE: Frances Dinkelspiel has more and bemoans the many Bay Area bookstore closings this year. The Bay Area may be an underreported literary mecca, but the hard truth is that these literary interests aren’t always compatible with profit and there aren’t enough courageous people willing to sustain many of these pivotal conduits. The recent end of the Books by the Bay festival and the slimming down of the Chronicle‘s book review section are troublingly self-evident on this front.]

Shedding Light on City Lights’ “Fascism”

The good folks at the SFist somehow caught it before me, but Catherine Seipp attacks one of my favorite bookstores, City Lights, for not carrying Oriana Fallaci’s The Force of Reason.

I call bullshit. First off, Seipp is resorting to hearsay in reporting that “a friend of hers” overheard a clerk snap, “We don’t carry books by fascists.” Hearsay is not permitted as evidence in a court of law and it sure as hell shouldn’t be permitted as a legitimate argument in an op-ed piece.

Second, how does not selling a particular title make City Lights fascist? Fascism, as I understand it, is “a system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.”

So let’s clarify here. City Lights is not a government nor is it a philosophy which espouses a government. It’s a bookstore that caters to a particular niche. As such, it is a capitalistic entity that sells books. A customer can decide whether to patronize the store or not. If City Lights were “fascist,” then I suppose Ferlinghetti would lock the doors upon a customer’s arrival, point a gun against the customer’s head, and force the customer to purchase Che Guevara’s Guerrilla Warfare or die trying not to. But the truth of the matter is that customers are free to come in and leave, often without buying a single thing! In fact, if you walk into the fiction section, you’ll notice a sign that urges visitors to sit down and read a book.

As it so happens, I just spoke with a City Lights clerk on the phone and he told me that the official City Lights policy is this: If someone wants the Fallaci book, the store would send them somewhere else if a customer really wanted it. The store simply doesn’t want City Lights customer money going to support Fallaci. Now how exactly is this fascist if City Lights is facilitating the purchase for a die-hard Fallaci fan (albeit not at its store)?