The Borders “In-Stock Guarantee”

Given that over the past year or so I've never actually found the novel that I'm looking for in Borders, I could make a killing here:

Borders, which earlier in the year struggled to keep books in stock as it reduced inventory levels, has introduced a new holiday program under which the retailer will provide free shipping on any item listed on that is not carried in a store where a customer is shopping.

I understand this is all a ploy to get me to buy more books at Borders, but it is kind of nice to know that, if I put forth the effort to drop by Borders on my lunch break, I wouldn't have to be disappointed when I found that, in fact, I'd just wasted my time since The Charterhouse of Parma isn't something they carry.

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Yes, it is a gimmick that doesn’t quite work that well.
Interestingly when I check the Borders website – the Penquin edition is online shopping only, but the Random House one (according to the search inventory)is “likely”, but not guaranteed, to be at couple of Borders near me in Boston – which is equally unlikely to inspire confidence. Play a guessing game to see if it is actually there or just order it from amazon.
(Or in my case get the Penquin edition I was looking on my Kindle in under a minute via amazon.)

Funny, because I actually purchased my copy of “The Charterhouse of Parma” from Borders… Times change, I guess.

Funny…I was just in a Borders the other day for the first time in almost a year. Their Fiction section had been shrunk down by about a third to make more room for ‘gift’ items (journals, blank books, etc…) which have a higher profit margin. For some reason the Sci-Fi and Mystery sections, which had previously been right next to the Fiction section were on the other side of the store. They still had several dozen shelves of Fiction, but only two after Tolstoy (not a single Vollmann or David Foster Wallace title), and those two were half empty. When I walked around a corner into the History section I see that they now categorize both Homer and Beowulf as Classical Studies.


The Surrender is Veronica Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning how she embraced her true gender.


Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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