Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Borders: Not Quite R.I.P.

I have to say I frequented Borders a lot. It took me a long while to forgive them for eviscerating our local honored bookstore, Hawley Cooke, but I finally did.

For nearly 2 years I would carry my 30% off coupon and shop - finding almost nothing to buy. Their horror section was weak on Lovecraft, and their shelvers often could not tell Romance from Horror from Harry Potter from Science Fiction. The saving grace was that they carried Dorcester's (R.I.P. !) books of my favorite B-listers*, but usually it was shelves crammed with Kalems - King, Koontz, Lumley, Matheson.

Well, Saturday (I am typing this Saturday afternoon) it was wall-to-wall people at the 20-40% off sale.

I had already staked out my claim having absolutely no fear that anyone would even go to my cob-webbed sections. I grabbed a Zombie book with a Brian Keene story in it. That one copy of that book had sat unmolested by anyone for about 6 weeks. Then I went over and got a 2008 paperback by Steve Alten - again untouched for weeks.

I picked up a slightly handled $25 !!! book on worn-out vampire stories. There was one by Manly Wellman I didn't recall, but not for $25, thank you. I may actually have it somewhere, anyway. The rest are very familiar to anyone with a small antiquarian vampire selection.

It annoyed me that H. P. Lovecraft was plastered on the cover as a "features and benefits" point-of-sale lure. It was, of course, The Hound.

Instead, I took advantage of the 40% off magazine sale, and grabbed Famous Monsters, and Movie Monsters - issues which I usually don't collect - but if I ever needed one, I'm sure pal Jeff Barnes could read one over the phone from his collection. Still, 40% off ignited me to buy them this time.

Asimov and Analog seemed to have weak selections this time, not even an Allen Steele story. I passed. I did get Astronomy, as it discussed the Nashville astronomer of the late 19th century, and I thought I could reference it in my blog, and later in my Young Lovecraft book. HPL could have been an astronomer, but when he was crushed by fate in 1908, he just couldn't rebound enough.

Well karma. The big box mega-stores killed the little guys, and now e-books and bigger box stores (like Sam's Club) are killing Borders and BN. Me? More and more I am throwing in the towel, and embracing small Indie horror. For once, HPL may have been right. I really, really enjoy good amateur and entry-level-author horror.

Well, good luck Borders. I hope you make it.
____

Who are my very favorite Dorcester B-listers? Ed Lee, Gary Braunbeck, Brian Keene, Al Sarantonio, and Ray Garton. No offense to anyone else, as I read a lot - read the blog and you will see many, many names listed. I used to do lots of reviews at Horror Mall's forum before it was pulled.

1 comment:

mdc671 said...

I used to prowl Border's a lot. I had to drive from Missouri to Kansas but at that time (80's) there wasn't much choice. The horror section actually had Arkham House & Chaosium books (which I have never seen in a Barnes & Noble) as well as the occasional find such as St. Armand & Maurice Levy.

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