Something Lost, Something Gained

So: Borders is really and truly closing down with the few exceptions of some stores in the main city centres across the country. The one closest to me is/was at a shopping centre. With its forthcoming closure (merely days, I think) and with the closure of its sister store, another chain called Angus and Robertson, I realised that it left me without a close bookstore. The closest bookstore, any bookstore, be it chain or independent, would be either in the city or along my favourite shopping strip, Brunswick St, filled with eclectic bookstores and the best vegetarian eatery in the world. Despite the failures of Borders, I am quite sad that I won’t be able to pop in somewhere bookish to escape from the shopping crowds for awhile. Now, the only bookish place will be at large chain stores like Target and Big W.

At the moment, Borders is having a massive closing down sale. Everything MUST go and they truly mean it. Everything including shop fittings, shelves and furniture! Even wall decor are for sale. The stock was slow to receive a reduction. Even at 40% off the original price, their items were still so much more expensive than most places which is ridiculous. But over the last few weeks, it’s become 50 – 60% off and there had been some really good stock. I guess they’re really digging out the corners of the storeroom. So, while I’m sad that Borders is going, I’m pretty happy with my massive book splurge especially since I didn’t get a chance to go Book Town this year.

Presenting my book loot and also a some great bargains I found at the fabulous Brunswick St Bookstore.

Book loot!

From left to right, up and down:

  • Crimes Against Humanity – Geoffrey Robertson
  • The Merry-Go-Round in the Sea – Randolph Stow (highly recommended by Reading Matters – twice)
  • Death in Venice and other stories – Thomas Mann
  • Sadopaideia – Annoymous
  • Austerlitz – W. G. Sebald
  • Call Me By Your Name – Andre Aciman (I’ve been wanting to read this since A Guy’s Moleskine Notebook reviewed this and I found it by chance! On sale!).
  • The Beautiful and the Damned – F. Scott Fitzgerald. I haven’t had the most luck with Fitzgerald but this edition is simply gorgeous.
  • The Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle. I still haven’t read much Sherlock.
  • All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque. I won this awhile back from Reading Matters for World Book Night and I received it yesterday!
  • Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys
  • The Sorrows of Young Werther  – Johann Wolfgang Goethe.
  • She – H. Rider Haggard
  • Middlemarch – George Eliot
  • The White Castle – Orhan Pamuk
  • Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
  • Philosophy in the Boudoir – Marquis de Sade
  • The Second Sex – Simone de Beauvoir. It’s the new translation and I got it for a measly price of $12.95. Whoa!

So that’s my loot. I don’t think I would mind being locked in my room for a few months.


  1. You got the Beauvoir! That’s an impressive haul, Mae. Have you seen the film of Death in Venice? It’s beautiful (but of course you must read the book first!)

    1. I did! I’m going to try and read the Beauvoir chapter by chapter. Soonish. I hope the translation’s good since I’ve heard some controversies with it.

      I haven’t see Death of Venice but I’ve heard so many good things about it. Can’t wait to read this. Sounds amazing. I’m so pleased with my find. :-p

  2. I completely understand your ambivalence about Borders closing. I have profited quite a bit from the closing sales, but it’s been really sad to see the stores so empty and to know that one more book store has failed. In fact, when I was there on the weekend getting some final day of operation loot a woman and her daughter came into the store and asked where the nearest bookstore was. Unfortunately, there are no bookstores (except for two used ones) within a 5 mile radius of where I live because they’ve all closed down (whereas last year there were two). It’s really sad.

    1. It’s also a double whammy if the area is a lower socio-economic area, which is where the shopping centre lies close to. There are libraries, of course, but I don’t know how engaged the particular population is. Bookstores in shopping centres do tend to grab more attention.

  3. It is so sad to see Borders go. I was really down when my favourite Borders in the UK closed – a couple of years before the liquidation occurred. But you have a wonderful haul of books there and some beautiful editions. I especially like the Scott Fitzgerald and the Conan Doyle. I also need to read Cold Comfort Farm! I read Wide Sargasso Sea ages ago and quite liked it. Enjoy your haul 🙂

    1. I couldn’t pass by the Fitzgerald. I had been eyeing for the last few weeks but I’d rather buy other books. One day, Fitgerald and I will get along.

  4. Such a bummer that you won’t have a bookstore nearby – that truly rots. I know what its like, because there are none near me – the closest one is a Borders and that is 30 minutes away and who knows how long that will be open. UGH! So frustrating, eh?
    Well, at the end of the day, you got some great books. Love the Rhys one – she was an excellent writer! Hope you enjoy Wide Sargasso Sea as much I did.

    1. Your closest bookstore is 30mins away?! That’s shocking! As much as I love cheap online bookstores and free delivery, I do miss browsing and serendipitously come across a book I wouldn’t have considered before.

      I do love Jean Rhys. I’ve already read Sargasso Sea before. I just wanted my own copy. 🙂

  5. Not a particular Borders fan, but it’s always sad when another place with books disappears.
    On the upside, your loot is absolutely amazing! I’m drooling 😉

  6. Lovin’ the loot. I’ve been meaning to read Austerlitz for ages, and have The Merry-Go-Round in the Sea on my shelf. I should read it soon.

    Enjoy the books – and being cooped up in your room :o)

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