Monday, May 16, 2011

Everything must go

The bookstore Borders is going through bankruptcy and is closing many of its Los Angeles locations. Saturday I stopped by the Hollywood location at Sunset and Vine. It was the second-to-last day of operation and the store was stripped, with a few books left on the shelves and everything, including the fixtures, for sale at a huge markdown. There were also a lot of customers, people with an eye for a bargain stocking up on books by the armful. I bought three paperback romances for five dollars, a better price even than buying used, but it made me a little sad to see a bookstore I used to browse now nearly empty and ravaged.

The people who walked out with many bags of books were lured by the steep discounts. 80% off a book's cover price is a tempting deal, but I'd argue it's worth it only if you wanted to own the book in the first place. How many of the books being bought that day were high on the new owner's to-read list? Did they buy out of desire for the book or the desire to "save" a lot of money on the book? Stuff that's on sale, just like stuff that's free, isn't always a great deal for the person buying. You still have to take home, store, use and then dispose of the thing you just spent actual money on.

I'm not saying sales aren't good things, or aren't fun. I didn't technically need two new Nora Roberts books, but I did buy them knowing I had a place to put them on my bookshelf, and can trade them in at my local used bookstore when I'm finished with them.

Creative Commons photo posted to Flickr by scazon

Lelah Baker-Rabe is a Los Angeles-based professional organizer. To discuss your organizing needs, call her at 818.269.6671 or email Sign up for Lelah's News, a once-monthly newsletter.

No comments:

Post a Comment