It’s sad to read that Angus & Robertson and Borders (the Australian version) have gone bust.
Angus & Robertson were the first book chain I can remember in Shepparton, original tenants of the Capri Centre when it opened (I can only remember Lyric Music and the video store as other shops). I must have spent a small fortune there as a young lad. It got to the stage where whenever a new Doctor Who book came in they’d automatically put it under the counter for me and leave it there until I next visited. They’re all still on my bookcase here, $3.95 a pop.
Borders was a revelation when it opened at the Jam Factory. It was just sooooooo huge. And they had chairs where you could sit and read the books! And a cafe! How positively American. It was a great place to have a browse before or after catching a movie and they too must have taken a large chunk of my pay.
Of course they can both look at me and say thanks for the sympathy but we would have preferred your dollars. Guilty as charged. A few years ago I discovered Book Depository and with prices generally half those of local book stores, often significantly less, I couldn’t justify buying local. Just this week we were in Borders with the kids and I found a fantastic book on Lego, but it was $69.95. I can get it delivered for $32. And the only reason I’d buy the physical book is that’s it’s a huge coffee table book. Now I’m buying books for my Kindle, and they’re even cheaper.
It’s hard to imagine a world without book stores, but with two giants failing I’m beginning to wonder if books will increasingly become a collectable, like vinyl LPs are today.