Today, for the first time in years, I was inside a Borders Book Store. Since shopping for anything other than books and yarn is more trouble than I care to get into, I don't get into many stores other than for the basics like food and money. Add to that the fact that the town I live in has one small Walden's store which is packed if more than 5 people are in it at the same time, and I simply prefer doing my book buying through Amazon. But, today, since we were at a strip mall with a Borders, I went inside to look for Anne Rivers Siddons' book, Nora, Nora.
Finding just where they may have hidden Anne's books was more of a challenge than I expected. There were tables and tables and shelves upon shelves of newly released books, books that were part of a buy 2 get one free deal, and various other specialized categories. Naturally I immediately became distracted by the buy 2 get one 1 free.
I quickly became undistracted when I realized that the 2 highest priced books were the ones I'd pay for and the cheapest one was free. That in itself was no surprise, but what absolutely floored me was the ticket price of the books. I had no idea that many new releases (unless they are part of a 30% discount Borders gives to a few select bestsellers) cost $27.95. Naturally anything that interested me was in that price range, and Borders has to be on serious drugs if they think I'm paying that much for one book when I can get a whole bunch of used books at Amazon for that kind of money. Granted, not all of them will be brand new releases, but I'm a very patient person when it comes to books. I can wait until the price drops as it always eventually does on any book in any genre.
Eventually, I did find where Anne Rivers Siddons was hiding, and I didn't even need my flashlight nor my trail of birdseed. Instead, what I needed was stilts. All of the books Borders had by Siddons were on the very top of the shelves, and all of them were pushed as far back on the shelf as was possible. This meant that all I could see of the book was the author's name. The title was completely hidden because I wasn't tall enough to see past the bottom of the shelf the books were on.
Now, I'm 5 feet tall, and I'm not good at jumping. I mean I can do it, but I cannot attain any serious height like Julius Irving could do from a standstill. Standing on my tiptoes doesn't do much good either. When you're vertically challenged, the only real solution to the problem is either carrying a ladder with you all the time or hanging out with really tall people. I was with Beans. She's 4'10". She's got a bigger disadvantage than I do. However, Beans is fearless when it comes to climbing up shelves to reach something we might need. So far she's had great luck and no shelves have come crashing down around her ears, but I do worry that this could happen all because neither of us could reach the cereal, the pasta, the boxes of shelving, or, as in this particular case, Anne Rivers Siddons.
In an effort to be helpful to their customers who are height challenged, Borders does provide step stools around the store, and to my surprise, there was a stool right beside the shelf where Anne was perched. So, I stood on the stool, and discovered that in spite of the extra height advantage the stool gave me, I still couldn't see the titles of Anne's books.
Borders also has ladders that are fastened to the shelves, but there's a sign posted that says the ladders are for employee use only. That's fine by me because the ladders are on rollers, and frankly, they don't seem all that sturdy. Yes, in spite of the posted sign, I did give the ladder a try but quickly decided that was a bad idea. The reason I attempted this on my own was because there wasn't a single solitary Borders Customer Service Specialist (or whatever they call the clerks in that place) available to help me. I saw 2 people who appeared to be employees of Borders. One was behind the counter checking out people who were buying books. The other was having a very serious discussion with a customer who'd just found out that she would not be receiving a copy of the new Harry Potter book that's coming out tonight. Borders only has so many copies coming in today, and apparently they are all reserved. Anyone inquiring today gets put on a waiting list. The customer was not happy, and angry Harry Potter customers look dangerous to me, so I was not about to interrupt with my insignificant problem with Anne Rivers Siddons' book.
That's when Beans came to the rescue. She scaled those shelves like a mountain goat scampers up those sheer rocky cliffs. And guess what we discovered? Borders has every Anne Rivers Siddons book EXCEPT Nora, Nora.
It's entirely possible Borders put that one book somewhere else, but by that time I was totally sick of the place. I never have these kinds of problems when shopping at Amazon. So why bother going anywhere else? Let Borders sell only to tall people. If they can find any willing to pay those outrageous prices!