Borderlands Books will stay open, thanks to cash from supporters



I think it’s important to acknowledge one of the noble truths, that everything changes.

San Fran is no longer the place it once was. The culture which it was known for has been driven out of the city, what remains is a sterile shell of its former glory. It’s only going to get worse. It’ll likely end up like Dubai, a modern and wealthy, yet soulless place.


heck, I was hanging out there (SF) in the mid-90’s and knew I had missed it.


A “modern and wealthy, yet soulless place” I think could also describe the chain bookstores that came into so many places and shut down the local ones. It’s amazing Borderlands weathered that storm, but also great because people realized what they valued in a bookstore was more than just the books.

I’m reminded of an interview (part 1 and part 2) with a former bookstore owner who went to work at the big chain that drove her out of business.


That interview was depressing :disappointed:

If a local bookstore did this, I would pay for it. Just to keep an independant place alive


Minimum wage laws damaging the ability of a small business to make a profit and stay open? Nonsense, those laws are just to keep big corporations from taking advantage of us folks, they’d never tip a small business owner into bankruptcy.


Being paid shit wages isn’t somehow nicer when you work for a small business.


This was the last straw. If a business can not support a living wage it is almost ready to close anyway. Let us remember that businesses closed before SF raised it’s minimum wage. Is it not true that if you allowed those shops to pay 1/2 the minimum wage they may have survived a little longer? The line has to exist somewhere. I had a local book store that I loved dearly. It even sold used books, and I spent many days sitting on the floor rummaging. Sadly this is progress, and changing demographics. I always wondered if my son’s generation will bemoan the closing of the last Starbucks,

But to be truthful this is just how progress works. I lived in a 1910 built row home that had an empty lot across from my house. I had always figured houses had once stood there once, but later I found out it was originally a stable and light blacksmithing shop. No matter how good of a business man the owner was, his shop closed in the 20s. Times had changed. Isn’t it ironic that a auto service business uses the lot today.


I gotta say, if they supported the new minimum wage (even though they weren’t paying it or similar already?) then it remains the high rents and Amazon that is closing them & attributing their closure to having to pay something closer to a living wage just exemplifies in language how well the right-wing and false left wing have shaped the discourse over living wages, workers rights/to organize & lobby govt etc etc.

Also, no online payment option?

Jesus, I’ve set up online payment options for non-profits/community orgs for events and other things and others that were barely, barely able to rub two nickles together. I always did it out of pocket and it never cost a thing over my miniscule labour and whatever transactions fees were imposed by the service selected paypal etc. Piggyback it on the webhosting I have to have for my own things anyway and it is practically free.

I mean, c’mon. It’s charity. The membership in question, whether it provides a discount or some other exclusivity to the holder remains a measure of charity. So why not open the floodgates?


The numbers here don’t make a lot of sense to me. 300 memberships * $100/membership = $30,000.

If your sales are such that $30k makes the difference between profitability and failure, you’re not closing because of minimum wage increases, you’re closing because your business model isn’t working. Labor costs may be a part of that, but blaming it on minimum wage seems unsubtle and political.

I understand that this article points out the fact that the wage increase is part of a more complex equation, but it still leads with the minimum wage point. Other articles I’ve seen made it the only cause, at least in the headline. I would have to guess that the rents question is likely much more of a factor than the minimum wage, especially since it’s driving the politics of the minimum wage. It feels disingenuous to focus (however indirectly) only on the employees who are getting a mandated raise as the reason for the near-death of a local icon.


Actually, it can be. Working for actual people rather than a faceless corporation can be a much nicer environment. Not saying that will pay the bills, but don’t just say stuff that isn’t true.


I remember that it happened recently in Champaign-Urbana, with a local art theater that, in a similar way, went “co-op” and is now thriving –


Yeah but part of the point is that people who contribute $ are also more likely to visit the store, so, more $.


What, no Amazon affiliate link to Down & Out? Maybe independent bookshops would be more viable if everyone didn’t direct traffic to places like Amazon.


Ironic that. He launched his book there, but always (except in posts about Borderlands) uses affiliate links to Amazon when referring to in on BB.

Maybe Cory should have given a reading at Amazon HQ instead of Borderlands?

I hate to admit it, but I"m part of the problem, too. I enjoy local bookstores like Borderlands, especially if they curate well and offer good suggestions. But increasingly I’ve been reading e-books, including Indy authors. It’s sort of refreshing not accumulating more books (I can’t bring myself to get rid of the ones I have, but I can avoid buying new physical books thanks to ebooks.) I do worry about the retention of our culture, though, when the grand kids will find nothing but dead electronic devices in the attic, ones that took all the music, photos, books, writings and memories with them when they died.


I never gave thought to that. I picture my great grandchildren finding a box of my old CDs and thumb drives. What is nice though is that the pictures of us, and all the records like birth, death and marriage certificates will be easily found. From my parents I have maybe 200 photos total, and most are now faded. My grandparents records in their respective Old Countries are gone. My son will have thousands of pictures of his childhood, and relatives. I have scanned drawing he made at two and three years old. He will be able to revisit his childhood, as long as I continue to back up that is!

Book stores, and record (Music) stores, are sadly part of the past. I still buy hard copy editions of books, but never from a local store anymore. I lived through the days when if you wanted to get a slightly obscure book you had to go to the book store, order it, and return in a few weeks to pick it up. I miss the local bookstore, but lets face the truth, book buying is better now.

What I want to see come back is the local video store where I can rent VHS tapes, and get fined for not rewinding them. Those were the days.


[quote=“joeair61, post:16, topic:52307”]I picture my great grandchildren finding a box of my old CDs and thumb drives. What is nice though is that the pictures of us, and all the records like birth, death and marriage certificates will be easily found. From my parents I have maybe 200 photos total, and most are now faded.

Faded is a problem, on the other hand you can still see them, with no need to find functioning 50 year-old technology to play them back on.

While it may seem that CD-Rs and thumb drives will always be ubiquitous, they same is true for all of the technology that is now obsolete, such as 8" floppies, 5.25" floppies, 3.5" floppies, Syquest drive disks, Zip drive disks, Jaz drive disks, Sony memory stics. Also, burnable CD-Rs and DVD-Rs are not long term archival and are subject to bit rot - a problem that varies radically depending on the specific make and model of recordable media. Thumb drives, too, are not archival. So, even if readers for these formats are still available, there’s no reason to assume they will still contain usable data.

If you want things the grandkids can see for sure, something like archival pigmented ink-jet prints on non-acidic paper, stored in a cool, dark space with normal humidity will last, and won’t require a device for playback, a device that may be hard to find or not exist.

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Actually that doesn’t matter much. When your barely making enough it doesn’t matter how nice or accessible the people fucking you are. And certainly doesn’t make getting shorted on pay checks, tips garnished or other shitty abuses of workers any better. I work in the restaurant business and have only ever worked for small dependent restaurants. the tensions, anger, and instability that comes with being underpaid or shafted financially eats up any good will that comes with the friendly “family” feel of such working environments really fast. I was much happier, and my life was much easier to deal with and more stable when I was being underpaid to work for a “'faceless” communications corp.


Indeed, individuals can be assholes, too. However, I’ve worked for crap wages for small business that were good. Cuts both ways.

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exactly my point. Crap wages and getting screwed are crap wages and getting screwed. A nice face on it doesn’t change the fact that you can’t afford both rent and food this month.