Most of you by now will have heard that Borders & Angus & Robertson are in a whole world of hurt right now & have entered into voluntary receivership.

This makes me sad. I loved Borders, LOVED. I used to work at Borders Bondi; I was there before it even opened, sorting the books onto the shelves & stepping gingerly between unsecured tiles. I loved it from the start – it was my kind of store & the people that worked in that store were my kind of people. It’s the only job I have ever liked, & I have thought since leaving to have Miss Punk that one day I would work at Borders again… but, well, it doesn’t look likely now.

There has been much talk about the evils of eBooks & buying books online, & while those two things may well have contributed to the financial dire straits that the company found itself in, I doubt they were the only factors & I’m not the only one.


Ironically, The Boy received an ereader for his birthday on Thursday – the Borders affiliated Kobo – and a Borders gift card. Not only did that mean that I now have myself a shiny new Kobo (he had zero interest & although I was excited initially I have deducted that ereaders are, disappointingly, not ‘all that’…), but that The Boy had an acute need to get in store to spend that voucher. We heard on the radio that there had been conditions placed on gift vouchers due to the current ‘situation’; in order to redeem you have to spend the same amount of the gift voucher’s worth; ie: If you have a $50 gift voucher you have to spend $100 in total, & as annoying as that seemed, the lure of a 40% off offer saw us head in yesterday afternoon for a bit of a book buying frenzy.


The Boy stocked up on gardening books & I picked up Pip’s new book, as well as the new Frankie; I wasn’t going to get Frankie (I have been trying to pretend it doesn’t exist, as it gives my inner hoarder pangs of regret still, to think I recycled my Frankie collection in a fit of insanity), but it was at the counter & we had to make up the money to use the gift card as our calculations as far as the discount went were a bit off; I’m glad I got it, it looks good, just like the fresh, fun mag I discovered when it was brand-spanking-new… although it makes me feel old to think that it’s “already” up to issue 40.


We had coffee & chai & jelly slice in Gloria Jeans & chillaxed mid-shop, & it was nice. It reminded me of the days & long nights I used to work & was just a pleasant way to spend the afternoon; but it made me sad to think that we might not be able to do that for much longer.


  1. my husband worked at a Borders once too and I still remember the early fun times when I'd pop in at the end of his shift, chatting to his friends (colleagues) and doing the occasional bit of helping random customers find books - I loved pretending (to myself!) that I worked in a bookstore too!
    (and I just found out he helped train some of the Bondi people when the Bondi store opened!)
    I buy less books now too (apart from op shopped ones), but wonder what it will be like with less book shops...

  2. God yes I love Borders and have been waiting patiently for it to return to the Sydney CBD - I spose that is not going to happen now.

    I have to be honest though, I often browse in book shops but then go and order them online. Books offered on line can be up to 50% cheaper, I live on a budget and love books, so I really cant ignore the savings.

  3. Crikey woman! Were I heading in to Borders on the same mission as you, I doubt if I would have left with ANYTHING different. Weird.

    And I do second you - I have always loved the relaxed atmosphere in Borders and I couldn't do a Kobo - I need the book SMELL!

  4. It is sad to lose a bit of our personal history and memories.
    But, practicality aside, bah to ebooks. They don't smell half as nice as the real thing.

  5. its nice to hear you all say those things. i work at borders and now have uncertainty for my job, one i really enjoy. just wanted to say thank you for being so great with the voucher situation. its not the greatest, and even though we staff, have nothing to do with the decisions, people still like to yell at us when we tell them the news...so you are great! and your blog is great!


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