Borders Books Not Music

Borders has been having clearance sales for their CDs and DVDs. First it was 30% off for select titles that had a red sticker, then 40%, and now 50%. At 50% off I started visiting the various Borders here in the valley, and going through their selection. I’ve been able to pick up some really good titles. A couple Of Montreal albums, a Metric album, the Tori Amos collection Tales Of A Librarian where she re-conceptualized some of her songs. But, on Friday the signs said simply 50% Off CDs. All of them. The DVDs were still select red stickered titles. So, I asked the cashier if Borders is getting rid off all their CDs and DVDs, and she said all except the top 25 selling titles. I said, “Well, as long as Borders stays.” And she said almost tearfully, “We’re trying.” I went to a different Borders yesterday, and this one still had only select titles on sale. This makes me sad. I mostly download music now too. But, lets be honest, there’s something missing. Not just the physical CD and the liner notes, but also the experience of driving to a store and perusing CDs.

I worked at Borders, in the music department, from September 2000 – August 2004. I loved it, and still count my time there as the happiest years of my life thus far. Most of my closest, dearest friends were met there. I said that while visiting Borders one time after I quit, and I was scoffed at. I hope those people always work in an intellectual, artistic environment. Otherwise, you will not find such a mix of intelligent, cultured, artistic, unique people. It was wonderful, and I felt at home. You’ll find people here and there, but not such a concentration as at Borders. Before I worked there, I was the person who “needed to come out of his shell”. Done. Borders has a welcoming vibe. Barnes And Noble feels like a stuffy library. It seems stark and passionless. And, I can’t explain the difference. It’s intangible. I worked at Borders while the music section had a separate CD player from the book department, and we would play anything we wanted. I was surrounded by music, books on music, and DVDs. I had a computer where I could do research and special order non-stock items. We rarely had to ring people up. It was utopian. As a teenager, working at Borders in the music department, was my dream job. I was offered a supervisor position about seven, eight months after I started. Part of why I declined was because it would have taken me out of the music department.

Before I started there, I probably went to Borders once a week. I was a regular customer, but me being me, I kept to myself mostly. I still frequently go there today. It feels like a second home. I loved the music department because it was so big and they played Radiohead, Massive Attack, the stuff I was into. Borders carried things no one else did. All the Brit-pop, electronica, indie bullshit I was starting to get into and love. I’d go up and down the aisles discovering new bands I had barely heard of, albums I didn’t know existed. It had an import section back then, and I bought many a $10 single or $30 album back then. It was the only way I could get the European music I read so much about in music magazines. How the internet has changed things. Who needs CDs anymore? Who needs magazines anymore? Who needs to pay $30 to get a CD from some obscure Swedish band anymore? The death of Borders Books And Music.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: