Thursday, November 10, 2016

BryonySeries Throwback Thursday: Borders Without Walls

Monday, January 9, 2012

Borders Without Walls

Nearly two years ago, my niece, then twelve, asked to read a copy of Bryony. She was the first person to do so.

My three youngest children--all teens (at the time)--were my first laboratory rats, at my request, not theirs, but their enjoyment of the story spurred me to seek publication instead of leaving the story in my computer for in-home entertainment only.

With my sister's permission, I three-holed punched a hard copy, bound it into a binder, and shipped it away. My niece, in return, sent me some really glowing emails as she passed certain landmarks in the story. Her enthusiasm prompted my sister--then an employee at Borders--to read the story, and the initial efforts at hand selling Bryony, still going through editing, began.

My sister began talking up the book at the store and circulating my niece's binder amongst the employees and updating me on their reactions. She created paper Bryony bookmarks for in-house promo pieces. My first official review came from a former Borders paperchase supervisor.

Last night, my sister presented me with an order for eleven copies of Bryony, all from former Borders employees, one of whom reviews books on her blog. These people, like my sister, like me, like our family, love books. We like the tales they tell, the smell of print, and the feel of two covers between our hands. We have bookshelves filled with books all over our houses. Our love for a good story spills out from us, and we can't wait to share it with someone else.

Take that to a corporate level, and you have a bookseller who is eager place the right book into the customer's hands, whether she is looking for a book on the mechanics of breastfeeding or the latest sci fi adventure. When you love reading that much, and you want others to experience that same delight, the dismantling of a physical infrastructure won't stop you.

My sister, who has already struck a consignment deal for Bryony at a '70's store near her home, is confident her former co-workers will be telling others about Bryony. That's nice for Bryony, but that's not the real story here (I'm now wearing my reporter hat).

The real story is that, despite the leveraged criticisms against Borders' business practise which, perhaps, contribute to its demise, the spirit of Borders was really found in its "in the trenches" employees, the ones who diligently worked to make sure each and every customer walked out of the store satisfied with his purchase, the ones who ensured every worthy good book found a good home.

It's a spirit no liquidation can kill. Rock on, Borders!

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