Just in time for Black Friday: a new bookstore

After lamenting the closing of Borders, our beloved bookstore and the only new book retailer in the tri-county area, rumors began circulating that several chain locations were being purchased by Books-A-Million. While Borders was undergoing bankruptcy proceedings this past summer, BAM made a bid for 30 locations — but were rejected. As our local store liquidated and closed its doors, we drove somberly past the shell of what was once our favorite hang-out. Our bookstore was gone.

But exciting news reached us in October: BAM had, in fact, purchased Borders’ old spot in town. They would be opening again with new inventory. Even without the shelves once holding countless paperbacks and hardcovers, we would have a literary depository again.

And they were right. Over the last month we’ve seen trucks arriving and crews unloading palettes of boxes — a daunting task I remember from my own bookseller days. Friends, family and coworkers all chatted excitedly about how we really were getting a new store, and speculation ran rampant over whether or not they would open in time for the holidays.

The folks at BAM obviously aren’t fools. Not opening before Black Friday and the onslaught of the Christmas shopping season would be a huge financial risk, so it was with great excitement — great excitement — that Spencer and I wandered in last week.

It was a soft opening, I guess; BAM flung open its doors without any fanfare. A small banner on the exterior announced the place was “Now Open,” and that — plus the dozens of cars in the parking lot — was the only thing alerting us to its opening. It was actually really strange walking in again . . . little remodeling was done, leaving the former Borders location mostly intact. The paint and carpet are the same. Even the book genres are located in mostly the same spots, including the children’s and fiction sections — and that was cool, but definitely weird.

After all my sadness and disappointment over losing Borders, it was like my store had been resurrected from the dead. And trust me — I’m totally not complaining. Walking in felt like coming home. But it was a little strange, too, to be in a Borders that wasn’t a Borders.

It’s going to take me a really long time to call it “Books-A-Million,” which is sort of a mouthful. Though I feel silly calling it BAM!

While I’m sorting out my feelings about all that, though, I’ll be off shopping. And just in time for Black Friday.

12 thoughts on “Just in time for Black Friday: a new bookstore

  1. To my knowledge, our Borders locations haven’t been purchased or rented yet. We have one BAM I think but too far from me, so that basically leaves Barnes & Nobles. Which is OK, but I sure would love an indie to move in. I found a tiny little indie up here where we are vacationing and about went nuts. Bought some books full price (with my husband rolling his eyes) just because!


  2. I prefer BAM and Barnes and Noble over Borders as well…our Borders was also sold but nothing has taken over its slot. The nearest BAM is 30 minutes away…the nearest Barnes and Noble is 90 minutes. The nearest Indie is also 90 minutes away…which is why I’m still such an Amazon shopper. There are two fantastic Indies in our state though…Lemuria in Jackson and Square Books in Oxford…I keep my eye on their websites and blogs and stop by whenever I can.


  3. Our Borders is now a BAM too. I haven’t visited yet though, but I’m sure it’s going to be a strange transition. I’m definitely anxious to check it out though. I hope you have a great Black Friday and get some good deals.


  4. The one in the local mall opened last week. I was going to go, but instead went to the annual booksale at the library. Less crowded and I came out with six books for less than what I’d pay for one book at BAM! I will get there though.


  5. I’ve never quite warmed up to the BAM stores, but it’s good to hear there are still brick and mortar stores willing to take a chance on the book buying public today. I hope you enjoy your new book store!


  6. I was really sad Borders closed here, too. It was my favorite place to go. I am not as much of a fan of Barnes and Noble. Unless I go there, I have to drive a good 20 minutes to the next awesome bookstore. It really stinks. Sounds like BAM would be right up my alley. Hopefully (*crosses fingers*) they’ll take over my old Borders’ location. I’m so glad you have a new place! 🙂


  7. Pingback: Welcome Books-A-Million

  8. BAM was the only bookstore I had access to in North Carolina and I quickly fell in love with it. Though, I can certainly see how weird it would be if it looks like Borders, smells like Borders, and quacks like Borders — so to speak.


  9. Well, that is wonderful news that you have a book store again. I can’t imagine not living near a bookstore. Luckily, my close proximity to two college campuses means that I have plenty of book stores and library for all my reading needs. But there are smaller towns in the area that don’t have book stores in their downtowns and it is heartbreaking.


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