Bookstore anecdote

Laura's comment on my earlier post, "I was at Borders looking for something new . . . I browsed and browsed, getting more and more frustrated," reminded me of a little anecdote. Here in Ann Arbor we are blessed with a couple of really good independent bookstores, so we're not stuck supporting the big corporate stores (perish the thought!).

A couple of weeks ago, my mother-in-law, Mary, went birthday shopping for Steve. Because his wish list included books, she went to Nicola's Books. However, his descriptions were pretty vague -- like "that book by the NYT science correspondent about genetics and evolution." So she went directly to the customer service desk, pulled out the printout of his emailed wish list and asked for that book by the NYT science correspondent, etc. Nicola said that that was the second time that day that someone had requested that book by the NYT science correspondent, etc. Mary showed her the printout, and Nicola affirmed that she'd already seen that exact same list. She then told Mary what (it turned out) Steve's brother- and sister-in-law had already bought, so Mary got him something different. Would that -- could that -- have happened at Borders or Barnes & Noble? I think not.


  • Did Steve's brother really get that book, or could it have been someone else supporting Nicola?

    (Not that he wouldn't have, if he hadn't been getting Steve a much better present.)


    posted by Anonymous Factcheckerworm on 9:31 PM  

  • Okay, okay, sorry. I'll change it.

    posted by Blogger Julie on 10:11 PM  

  • heh heh heh

    posted by Anonymous factcheckerworm on 10:22 PM  

  • I love independent stores. We had the best independent video store. I walked in and asked, "Hey, do you have that movie about the Asian high school kids who form a gang?" and the guy said, "Better Luck Tommorrow? Right over there."

    I can't tell you how great that was.

    There out of business now, which sucks, but I love Ann Arbor book stores. Even the really smelly ones.

    posted by Anonymous suzanh on 10:13 PM  

  • Well, in defense of my visit to Border's, we have one of the best indies in the world up here too, Powell's. But it's a drive and I only make it every few months. So I do turn to the big places, grudgingly, when short on time.

    posted by Anonymous Laura on 12:22 AM  

  • Suzan, the really smelly ones? Just curious, but did you mean that literally? Which ones smell? Is there some bookstore in town that I don't know about?

    Laura, I understand. Nicola's is close to my house, in a strip mall with plenty of free parking. On the other hand, I still remember the good old days when Borders WAS our indie. The Borders family lived in my neighborhood, in fact, and I occasionally babysat their kids. Oh, the stories I could tell...! ;-)

    posted by Blogger Julie on 7:30 AM  

  • I can't remember the name of the one on South U, but it was downstairs - and it smelled. Musty-like.

    posted by Anonymous suzanh on 5:58 PM