Borders is almost gone…it’s advertising discounts of 50-70% off. I live in McCandless, a suburb of Pittsburgh, and as much as I love visiting independent bookstores in other cities when I’m traveling, I must say that Pittsburgh doesn’t have a great selection of bookstores. Borders was only 2 miles from my house…there’s also Half Price Books nearby (which is great for cheap finds but doesn’t always have the one book you might be looking for) and a Barnes & Noble less than 10 miles away. I buy plenty of books from Amazon.com, but you just can’t replicate the experience of browsing in a store (and I love trying to find the biggest books on the shelf and you can’t do that online). My friend Mary told me about Penguin Bookshop in Sewickley which I’ve never been to but I’m excited to visit. I need more recommendations though!
In the meantime, I’ve been to Borders three times since it started closing it’s doors and I’ve gotten some great deals:
Elizabeth I–I nabbed the hardback with a $15 gift card I had and 20% discount. I now own at least four Margaret George novels and have yet to read any. I just know I love historical fiction and she’s one of the best authors of this genre, so I’m saving them.
The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis–I’ve been meaning to get this for a while because I love short stories and female authors (not just because it’s my favorite color, orange!), though at $19 I never wanted to pay full price (40% off worked though).
The Forgotten Garden–I read Kate Morton’s other novel, The House at Riverton, a while ago and enjoyed it but wasn’t blown away. But The Forgotten Garden (a mystery) looks more interesting, received pretty positive reviews, was 60% off and it’s 560 pages long!
Wolf Hall–This has been on my wishlist for a long time, though I already own at least 2 other novels centering around Henry VIII so it wasn’t a “priority” purchase. But it received critical acclaim and I’m excited to read it, especially at 60% off.
The Best American Mystery Stories 2008/The Best American Mystery Stories 2007—I know these are dated, but I love a good mystery and short stories. And I love that I got these on clearance, with a discount, and spent less than $5 on the pair.
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle–I haven’t been able to escape this book, by first-time author David Wroblewski. I would see it in every bookstore, every trip to the library and even saw it on clearance at Borders before…it was still on clearance last week plus a 60% discount, so it only cost $2.99 and I caved. I love Oprah’s Book Club books and she ranked Wroblewski’s writing up there with John Steinbeck’s, so I hope I love it as much as she did.
Mayflower–Another clearance novel with an additional 40% discount. Mayflower tells the story of the voyage of the Mayflower and the settlement of Plymouth Colony. It won’t be the most exciting book on my shelf, but I’m sure it’ll be interesting. I actually bought author Nathaniel Philbrick’s recent release, In the Heart of the Sea, about the 19th-century whaling industry in Nantucket and sinking of the whaleship Essex by a sperm whale, and will probably read this first.
The Eden Hunter–Skip Horack’s novel, set in 1816, was inspired by actual events and tells the story of Kau, a pygmy tribesman sold into slavery, who escapes (by killing a member of the family who “owned” him) and flees into Spanish Florida wilderness. The novel details what ensues and who he meets on his journey…and was 60% off.
The Blue Religion: New Stories about Cops, Criminals, and the Chase, presented by Mystery Writers of America –Between being a clearance book and being discounted, this only cost $2.99. It contains 19 stories written by crime writers, all involving the police. Bestselling author Michael Connelly edited the novel. The description on the back is a little cheesy, saying things like, “Filled to the brim with gripping showdowns, these tales go beyond the exhilaration of the chase to show the true burden of the badge,” but I’m sure at least a few of the stories will be worth reading.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close–Written by Jonathan Safran Foer, this book was recommended to me by my friend Sarah S., who also recommended Free Food for Millionaires. The book description is hefty and involves a nine-year old boy with a big imagination, a father who passes away in the World Trade Center collapse, a mysterious key and a quest in New York City.
Even if Borders stays open a while longer, my husband said I’m not allowed to bring home another book until I read everything I have…so I guess I won’t be going back!