The Demise of Borders via Hartford Advocate

Borders, the book chain that once dreamed the impossible dream that Americans had untapped appetites for literature more complex than the 365 Tiny Paper Airplanes Page-a-Day Calendar, has landed on Wall Street’s remainder table. Last week, the company declared bankruptcy and announced it’s closing at least 200 of its 642 stores. Its stock has sunk so low you can now buy at least 100 shares of it for the cover price of a James Patterson bestseller.

If the Moby Dick of bookstores disappears completely, will anybody miss it? Amazon offers more titles. The independent shops that survived its premillenial blitzkrieg across the culturescape confer a greater aura of good taste on their patrons. WalMart and CostCo boast deeper discounts and (usually) a more encyclopedic array of scented candles.

But did any of these rivals — and throw in Barnes & Noble too — ever match Borders’s passionate, deluded faith in the power of literature? Oh, sure, Borders is widely regarded as a genetically modified corporate organism fully lacking in clutter, curmudgeonliness, and all the other attributes that make authentic bookstores bookstores. The fact that in recent years it has become easier to find reflexology kits, gardening spades and oatmeal moisturizing lotions at Borders than, say, Garry Wills’s latest tome on the sociology of religion, hasn’t helped the chain’s reputation either….

I LOVE Borders!!  Some sales clerk at a books-a-millon told me that Borders was closing lat year but after nothing happened for months I figured she was just full of it and was trying to sell me on there membership thing.  It will make me very sad if they close shop completely…it’s the only book store I actually physically go to. Where do you buy your books?  Will you be sad if Borders goes away forever?

Jonathan Lethem psychoanalyzes They Live’s Ghouls via

Jonathan Lethem — Just who are these weird people that you see when you put on the mysterious sunglasses in They Live? What do they want? More importantly, what do they mean? Novelist Jonathan Lethem investigates, in three excerpts from his new book analyzing They Live….

Interview with Discovery of Witches author, Deborah Harkness via

Deborah Harkness’ epic vampire-magic novel A Discovery of Witches is an Amazon best-of-the-month book for February. This is a first foray into fiction for Harkness, but the subject matter isn’t exactly foreign. She’s a Fullbright- and Guggenheim-honored historian whose previous books, under the name Deborah E. Harkness, have dealt with aspects of alchemy. A Discovery of Witches continues her fascination with magical systems, focused as it is on Oxford’s Bodleian Library and concerning the adventures of historian Diana Bishop, who happens to be a witch. Her discovery of a strange manuscript draws the attention of a powerful vampire. The mystery surrounding the manuscript leads Bishop on a strange journey of discovery and horror. Publishers Weekly wrote that “Harkness brings this world to vibrant life and makes the most of the growing popularity of gothic adventure with an ending that keeps the Old Lodge door wide open.”

Harkness answered the following questions about her book while on a plane, flying home to Los Angeles, availing herself of an entirely different sort of magical system.

This looks like a really interesting book,  this interview is a nice little peak at it.