When Borders Bookstores closed for good I was crushed. For a minute. And then my eyes were opened and my life was ever changed, as well as my pocketbook. Before they closed, I would drive to work 3 evenings a week to work my 12-hr shift as a caregiver of Seniors with various mental disabilities. I made it a purpose to leave twenty or so minutes early just because the Borders bookstore (which was 5 minutes away from my workplace) closed up shop right as I was supposed to clock in.
I would go there and I would browse through the aisles. I would read the back of hundreds of books every week, perhaps I exaggerate that number just a bit. I would always buy at least one book, but rarely could I walk away without two or more books. And you do realize that the majority of those books were at least $7.99 each, right? That’s a lot of money over time. I mean, I didn’t have any other expensive habits; no smoking, drinking, clubbing. But geez, this one was enough for me!
When they (Borders) hung the sign that told the world they were closing I asked my friend and school-mate who worked there what she was going to do. They let her go not three weeks later. They let many people go. They did not provide any means of support; no “we will give you time to find another position.” The store I shopped at, in the end, had temporary workers running the clearance shelves and only two of the faces I saw were familiar and they were the managers.
Who knows why or how or what went on. We all struggle, we all have our ‘woe-is-me’ tales and this was their (the employees of Borders) turn to sing their sad song. I don’t mean to be mean. I was very sad for them. All I’m saying is, I think we have all experienced some kind of “the Man has treated us wrong” story.
Now, with this bookstore closed, the closest name is Barnes&Noble and it’s a good 25 minute drive. (More if there is bad traffic on the highways and OMGosh…does anybody know what traffic on Hurstbourne is like? I think since Borders has closed I’ve visited B&N twice. But I have the Nook, so why bother going to the store?
No. I have found that the pot of gold was ever so close to me; Forced upon me, but now I welcome it with open arms. Peddler’s Malls, flea markets, and the mom & pop book stores offer a world of new experiences. I find some of the most amazing reads from these places and the prices I spend are like out of this world unbelievable. So much so that I can’t believe I was paying top dollar when there are books that can be found for a quarter or $3.00.
Now, there are those who are reading this and comparing me to those who actively participate in video and music piracy. I promise you that someone bought that book at full retail price, so the writer got their money. It is now free game. (Isn’t it?)
What are your thoughts? Do you believe you are robbing the writer by buying used? Is it okay for your friend to email you that audio book?
And for you writers out there who have published a book (or more) what are your thoughts?