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Weber_gregston (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 04:20 pm:   

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8373806.stm
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 04:23 pm:   

Never heard of them... we really do live in a backwater over here!
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Weber_gregston (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 04:25 pm:   

45 stores across the country. The Overnight is set in one (cunningly renamed as "texts").
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.4.226.67
Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 04:28 pm:   

Never heard of Borders?!? That's like never hearing of "Three's Company" over here....

I remember when a big Borders came here, to Simi Valley. There was already one in Thousand Oaks, the next town over, and a few in the Valley. I said, Simi Valley does NOT need a Borders. But why not a super-bookstore? other's said. Cool!

But I too heard, Weber, that sales are down dramatically. They got rid of their dvd section entirely this year - a total shock, because their dvd section was extensive and exquisite. No one's buying books, no one's buying music (another extensive/exquisite section they've hacked down), no one's buying expensive coffee... I can see this place closing, and me proved the prophet, someday soon....
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 04:42 pm:   

Oh dear, that is worrying. Borders provides a nice alternative to Waterstones.

The book selling market must be in a hell of a state. In recent years, we've had lots of independent booksellers close down round here - I can only think of one left locally now (a little way out, in Ilkley). Dillons bookstore chain was taken over by Waterstones (meaning we only had one store left in Bradford, rather than two), and now Borders looks like it's going the same way.

OK I know you can get any book you like via the web, but it's just not the same as going into a bookshop and being able to browse through them.

I really miss second hand bookshops too - I used to love browsing in those ...
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 75.4.226.67
Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 04:47 pm:   

We have a new entity now, Caroline, and I wonder how it'll catch on?... We had appear in Simi Valley what's called the $5 BOOKSTORE. Every book is no more than $5. It's an eclectic mix of new books, overstocks, used, etc. You can't say it's a used bookstore, you can't say it's a new bookstore - but it is filled to the brim with books, a blinding amount of them!

Sounds great, right?... It is, kinda, except.... I get the feeling they're not doing so well either....
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 04:54 pm:   

Ah yes, we have those too, Craig - Just Books and stores like that (in fact, I think there's still a Just Books in Bradford?). They're fine so long as you're looking for romance, or autobiography, or natural history, or something pretty mainstream like that.

I just miss the old days when I could (a) browse in a good horror section in a big bookstore and (b) lose myself in a second hand bookstore.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 04:56 pm:   

>>They're fine so long as you're looking for romance ..<<

I've just realised that doesn't sound quite the way I intented it. I meant looking for books in the genre "romance". I don't go into bookshops looking for romance, honest!
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 04:57 pm:   

intented?
I mean, intended.

I think I'd better go and lie down in a dark corner somewhere ...
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 05:04 pm:   

There are only seven bookshops in the whole of Belfast now... a mediocre Waterstones, an even more mediocre WH Smiths, two Oxfams, a War On Want, a tiny second hand bookshop that will probably fold soon and (glory be!) the best second hand bookshop I have ever been in called simply 'The Bookstore' (or as I call it Aladdin's Cave).

If it weren't for that last mentioned there would basically be no point in going into town anymore of a Saturday. I agree there is nothing like the joy of browsing through a well-stocked bookshop and unearthing some unexpected nugget of gold you just have to buy!
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 05:15 pm:   

Caroline, you mean you've never tried the old "what are you looking for just in case I come across it and by the way let me know if you spot a copy of <whatever>" line when faced with a desirable member of the opposite sex over a dusty mountain of old paperbacks!

Works (almost) every time...
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 - 06:01 pm:   

Ah, but you have to be a bit careful with that kind of thing when you're married, Stephen - wouldn't want the hubby to find out!
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Mark_lynch (Mark_lynch)
Username: Mark_lynch

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.171.129.69
Posted on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - 08:32 am:   

Heard about this on the news last night. Seriously bad mojo. That'll leave only one national bookstore chain... I think we can near as sod officially say the days of browsing are just about over.

Books? I remember them. They looked like those things with celebrities' names on them that you see in the supermarket, only they were better...

All of which will leave the download book, I suppose. (Sorry, Joel.)
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.22.228.92
Posted on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - 09:28 am:   

I just miss the old days when I could (a) browse in a good horror section in a big bookstore and (b) lose myself in a second hand bookstore

and (c) pay approximately 3.75 for a paperback or 0.50 for a pocket book. I'm sorry, but the way prices are now it's no wonder people are beginning to consider books a luxury they can ill afford.
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Mark_lynch (Mark_lynch)
Username: Mark_lynch

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.171.129.73
Posted on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - 11:24 am:   

Yup, new books in the UK are being priced out of most folk's pocket.

Actually, revising my thinking about Borders going, maybe if Waterstones went as well we'd see a return of the independent bookstore...? Though of course, we'd all go home after browsing and buy the book off Amazon...
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - 11:41 am:   

That big second hand bookshop in Belfast I mentioned still does a roaring trade and is full of people most weekends. They seem to have a well worked out policy of constantly recycling the stock with new boxloads coming in regularly and unsold stock being shipped off elsewhere. They've cornered the used book market and appear to be doing remarkably well. If that shop ever went the city centre would be transformed into a barren wasteland as far as I'm concerned.

It pains me that there isn't one independent music store left in the city now (the last one closed down last year) and the CD fairs I used to haunt regularly have become a fond memory of the past. Are there such things as book fairs?

The mega-expensive chain stores can't compete with the likes of Amazon but people will always want the pleasure of browsing second hand collectables and unearthing buried treasure so I can't see why these shops should be folding as well.
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Mark_lynch (Mark_lynch)
Username: Mark_lynch

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.171.129.70
Posted on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - 05:22 pm:   

In the UK it's because of high business rates, exorbitant local rents. Alas, counclrs who decide these rates are rarely local businessmen and assume that anyone running a business is raking it in. At least all the ones I've met (who are allied to a political party) have been like that.
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Weber_gregston (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - 05:35 pm:   

Last week I bought what appears to be a first edition hardback copy of Paul Theroux's Millroy the Magician from an independant off Amazon. I paid 1p plus 2.75 postage. When it arrived it had 2.70 in stamps on it. Factor in the cost of the large size jiffy bag and, even if he was given the book for free, the seller must have made a 50p loss. The chances are I won't buy anything else off that vendor except through chance. I'm struggling to see how Amazon is benefitting any type of bookseller except for itself.
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Mark_lynch (Mark_lynch)
Username: Mark_lynch

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.171.129.73
Posted on Thursday, November 26, 2009 - 08:38 am:   

Well, reports suggest of Borders UK isn't in administration by the end of today it will be by the end of the week...
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Stephen Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Thursday, November 26, 2009 - 04:08 pm:   

Mark, that makes sense... but still leaves a massive market outside of the city centres for entrepeneurs to open second hand book shops that I could guarantee people will go out of their way to travel to for the pleasures I mentioned.

We still have antique shops and they must have had to start somewhere. What am I saying!!
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 82.38.75.85
Posted on Thursday, November 26, 2009 - 08:42 pm:   

But where I am (West Yorkshire) both the antique shops and second hand book shops have mostly all closed down (though there are more left of the former than the latter).

I wonder if it's a regional thing? Someone I know who lives on the south coast reckons there are still plenty of second hand bookshops in his neck of the woods.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.181.11.80
Posted on Thursday, November 26, 2009 - 10:50 pm:   

Whereabouts in west Yorkshire, Caroline? Anywhere Sedburgh? Still lots of bookshops there, or at least there were last time we went there, a few weeks back.
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Gcw (Gcw)
Username: Gcw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.155.105.158
Posted on Thursday, November 26, 2009 - 11:06 pm:   

Looks like Borders is going tits up...

A real shame, there is a great one in Norwich Chapelfield Centre which acts as focal point.

Bad news, also for the employees if a buyer isn't found.

gcw
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Mark_lynch (Mark_lynch)
Username: Mark_lynch

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.171.129.72
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 08:39 am:   

I went for a goodbye cuppa and a read of the magazines for free, to the Borders branch at Birstall. First time they've stocked Black Static and they're shutting down! Clearly it must be because of the extensive Joel Lane section in the magazine...!

I shall certainly miss the place. I've called in in passing many a time, spent hours browsing, buying the odd American import magazine, literary journal, or paperback. They had signed James Ellroy books in yesterday, and you won't find them - signed or not - in Asda...
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Jonathan (Jonathan)
Username: Jonathan

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.109.152.137
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 09:57 am:   

It is indeed worrying. It's not good to have just one big chain on the market but, not only that, this is also going to cut 7% of our sales and make it very difficult for smaller publishers to survive at all.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.37.199.45
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 11:29 am:   

It goes like this.

1. If you want bookshops, STOP USING AMAZON.
2. if you want independent publishers, STOP USING AMAZON.
3. If you can't get a book through your local bookshop, buy it direct from the publisher or from a specialist dealer. STOP USING AMAZON.
4. If you don't have a local bookshop, get in touch with the nearest one in the region to find out what it has and how it deals with customer enquiries. Can they order specific books for you, can they send you updates, can they put books aside for you before you come in? STOP USING AMAZON.
4. If you want there to be writers in five years' time, STOP USING AMAZON.
5. One other thing: STOP USING AMAZON.
6. Spread this message everywhere. Fast.

Or there will be no bookshops, no publishers other than two or three mass-market corporate giants, and most certainly no professional writers except for a tiny elite of bestsellers. And that will happen within the next five years. I'm not exaggerating. 90% of the infrastructure of bookselling and independent publishing has been destroyed since the year 2000.

STOP USING AMAZON.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 213.219.8.243
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 11:40 am:   

Joel's right, of course. The reading public has dictated this state of affairs. It's a direct consequence of all our consumer actions.
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Mark_lynch (Mark_lynch)
Username: Mark_lynch

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.171.129.74
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 12:43 pm:   

With publishers investing so heavily in celebrity books, there's a sort of trickle down economics involved in the book trade now. And as in economics, I don't much care for being trickled on.
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Mark_lynch (Mark_lynch)
Username: Mark_lynch

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.171.129.74
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 12:43 pm:   

The future's electronic.
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Mark_lynch (Mark_lynch)
Username: Mark_lynch

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.171.129.74
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 12:48 pm:   

Stop using Amazon? Will do the second books are as cheap in the stores. My choice right now is buy it off Amazon, where it's cheaper (and in stock), or don't buy it at all cos I can't afford it.
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Jonathan (Jonathan)
Username: Jonathan

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.109.152.137
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 01:57 pm:   

Although there is some truth to Joel's argument, it's not entirely Amazon that has brought down Borders. Borders were in trouble even before the recession hit. I was getting daily reports on the state of the chain so I know this to be true.

Gary said "The reading public has dictated this state of affairs." but I'm not sure it's quite as simple as that either. I'm not supporting the big corporations here I just think that the issue is far more complex.

I would put together a more comprehensive posting but I'm now off to Nottingham for a weekend of beer and metal!
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 213.219.8.243
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 02:10 pm:   

Beer and metal? Is it a steelworkers convention?
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Weber_gregston (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 194.176.105.56
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 02:22 pm:   

That would be beer and metal and industrial amounts of vaseline
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Gcw (Gcw)
Username: Gcw

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.155.105.158
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 08:10 pm:   

I use the CHEAPEST method to buy books.

Amazon...Wherever.

It's simple & pure. I am a customer , I want the best deal.It's economics.

You can't blamer the customer, would you pay more to support a book chain?

Sorry, I won't.

gcw
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.240.106
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 10:22 pm:   

It isn't a question of blame though, is it? It's just the reality of the situation.

As customers, we make a choice - and the choices we've all made have led to where we are today. All I'm saying is that we can't bemoan the ruin of a chain of brick-and-mortar bookshops whilst clicking to order from Amazon.

I'm possibly more guilty of this than anyone: I buy everything online.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.240.106
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 10:25 pm:   

would you pay more to support a book chain?

I think I would. Just to condradict what I said above, books are one of the only things I try to buy from a shop (on the rare occasions I get into town to visit one). I've often paid a couple of quid more for the convenience
of getting a book there and then (and supporting the shop) rather than waiting a week for the Post Office to decide to deliver it. With small press titles, I always go to the publisher first.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.181.11.80
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2009 - 10:26 pm:   

I guess this is a very similar situation to the loss of 'local' shops - missed by all but visited by few, since the huge "buy everything in one place" superstores opnened some years back. Folk vote with their wallets and purses.

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