Borders Last Gasp

Borders. Now 50% off!
Sounds like, what, maybe suspicious?

The real problem with Borders closing? The truly ugly side of retail emerges, the death watch, the vigil, the wake, going through the bones, picking them clean.

In San Antonio, there was one Borders that was nice, nicer than the rest. Clean, current, two floors of books, classics, weak astrology section, but no matter, a solid store.

Classic, South Texas architecture and feel, airy, bright and well-lit. At the death watch? Featuring the cardinal points, there were marketing guys, waving signs, “50% off!”

I know how the ad read, “Go-getter for possible long-term sales position, salary against commission, outdoor sales involved.” Something like that. The long-term position depends on what stores get converted to the new owner, after liquidation.

Where do we go from here?

Last pass, do the math, last chance through the store I liked. Shelves starting to look bare. Couple of new books, but most of everything was gone. Almost bought an allegedly deeply discounted cooler for packing a fishing lunch until I realized the same sandwich cooler was about half that price at the regular retail sporting goods chain.

Business books were all marked half-off. I picked up 5, and for the life of me, even though there was an additional ten percent discount if I got 6? Wasn’t anything else attractive.

Do the math, spend and extra $20 to get $5 back?

Sorry to see them go. Reminds me to adapt to change, too, or go the way of the dinosaur.

EBooks on sale now.

One of the books I picked up at that ‘50% off’ is Hugh MacLeod’s hugely successful Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity [Hardcover]. It’s a business book I meant to buy, at one point, but I balked at the price, and for that matter, most of his material has been online.

I followed his work closely — back in the day — when he was a relatively obscure artist writing about the creative process. His first book was pretty much “blook” — blog to book. Not unlike my favorite child — Two-Meat Tuesday (available free with a subscription)….

It’s spooky in that some of the advice is eerily familiar to me, tag lines I’ve mentioned to clients, over the years. Some was inspired, some was common sense.

The book’s flap says he lives in Alpine, now. That’s Alpine, TX. Home to Sul Ross State, a friend’s daughter attends the University there. The Alpine/Marfa connection runs deep in me. It’s probably been a dozen years since I’ve spent quality time in that area, long after it got discovered by the likes of characters, well, like Hugh, running away from New York City.

Some of my old Austin friends are there, too. Brings up another sideways point, about locating in a rural and remote area. Closest commercial airport is Midland/Odessa or El Paso. I’m in an out of El Paso pretty much every other month, not an issue to me.

But it’s not four-hour drive to the airport.

Before I read the book, my inclination was to go back and get another copy for my Sister. However, after finishing the book, I’m less sure. Might just mail this one on.

I no longer live in a trailer park in South Austin, but old habits die hard.

About the author: Born and raised in East Texas, Kramer Wetzel, settled in a South Austin trailer park before trailer parks were cool. He now lives in San Antonio, Texas.