Monday, July 14, 2008


There have been on-again off-again rumors about drastic cut backs at Borders for some time now. The suggestions leak out, get "corrected", and reappear again. It isn't the only issue on which Borders prevaricates. I mean they refused to carry the issue of Free Inquiry that carried the Mohammad cartoons, but do carry an issue of Harpers with the same content. They announced over a year ago that they would be replacing their Amazon-powered website and starting their own--and then went very quiet on that issue and the site languished in beta version. Then recently the website popped out of beta with very little warning or ceremony.

Meanwhile rumors of large scale selling off of their brick and mortar stores are only becoming stronger and more credible. On the back of the ongoing selling off of international stories (franchised under the same brand but no longer part of the company), the rather unheralded, low key roll out of the website (with second hand books available through an Alibris-powered marketplace) does feel, to me at least, like a precursor to retrenchment of the US stores or at least a major re-shuffle. I suppose only time will tell.

My somewhat negative attitude to the chain may, of course, also related to my erotic romance being shelved in the psychology section and my high fantasy under gay fiction. To me love and/or dragons are the most salient features of the stories, not sex scenes and/or the hero being gay.

[Breaking news] Blackfooted ferrets in peril


Katrina Strauss said...

I met a Border's clerk at a recent yaoi convention. She told me some interesting things. First, the company is either laying off or asking managers to leave, so they can keep the lower-paid clerks on board instead. Second, she says that at least at her location, they have titles they never even put on the shelf! As in boxes of titles sitting in the backroom, some never even opened, as they are only displaying titles they feel well actually sell.

Anonymous said...

Em, I just found out today that Borders has my collection of gay erotica, Rough Cut, also shevled/categorized under psychology. Makes me think that someone at corporate is keying things without looking at the content.


veinglory said...

From following up on this I think it is quite deliberate. Anything woth 'erot' in the title seems to go to sexuality/self-help, no matter how the ISBN is categoried. Meanwhile 'Big Spankable Asses' is in romance.