January 01, 2012

January News Roundup

* Own a piece of Borderlands' history!  Over ten years ago, as we were planning on moving from our original Hayes Valley location to the Mission, Alan designed a new style of bookshelf for the store.  Examples of the final design are all over the store but, before the design was finalized, there was one prototype.  For years we have used that prototype to house our oversized art books and HP Lovecraft section, but it's time to move it along and replace it.  Rather than sell it, we want to give it to one of our customers so . . . if you're interested in a nice shelf and a piece of history, drop us an email saying so.  We'll pick the winner one week from today.  One warning though, it's _tall_ . . . very tall.  Slightly over 8 feet in height, it will not fit under the ceiling of most houses built later than 1950.  So please do grab a tape measure before emailing us.  Pictures and complete dimensions can be found here <http://www.borderlands-books.com/furniturepages/furniture.html>.

At that same page, you'll find pictures and details of a display case we're passing along.  Honestly, I expect that this one will have to go on CraigsList but I wanted to offer it to our customers (at a reduced price) first.  One warning goes with this one as well -- it is probably the heaviest single piece of furniture I've ever had to move.  You will need a truck and probably three other people to load it and unload it.  And I wouldn't even want to think about moving it up a flight of stairs.  If I list it on Craig's it'll be $50 but I'm happy to sell it to a customer for half that.  Let us know if you're interested.

* Jonathan Knapp from the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts wanted to let everyone know about an upcoming screening of "The House by the Cemetery" from Lucio Fulci.  Here are the details: "'The House by the Cemetery" by Lucio Fulci, Jan 27, 2012, at 10:00pm & Jan 28, 2012, at 10:00pm  UNCUT GRINDHOUSE RARITY!  One of the best films by one of the greatest Italian exploitation directors, this is the “old dark house” genre by way of the grindhouse. In typical Fulci fashion, the movie sidesteps logic, instead reveling in gore and a truly haunting atmosphere. We are presenting a specially imported, fully uncut European 35mm print, dubbed in English and -- just to up the weirdness ante -- with Danish subtitles. Bring a phrasebook, and a barf bag. (1981, 86 min, 35mm)  Admission: $8 general • $6 YBCA members, students, seniors  Location: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (701 Mission St., San Francisco)  For more information: <http://www.ybca.org/house-cemetery>

* The Custom Made Theatre Company (the fine folks who are staging Cory Doctorow's "Little Brother") are offering a special deal for our customers!  Sunday, January 29th at 7:00 pm, Borderlands customers can see the show "Little Brother" for $20 per ticket, and the director and cast will be staying after the show for a Q&A!  Tickets can be purchased at http://www.custommade.org/tickets, and the discount code is M1k3y.   There is no service fee. Tickets are picked up at will-call starting at 45 minutes before showtime, general admission seating begins 30 minutes before.
More info on the show at <http://custommade.org/little-brother>.  We hope you'll join us there -- many of the Borderlands staff will be attending!

* Borderlands Cafe now has a Twitter feed to keep you apprised of cafe happenings, things we overhear, and occasional specials!  Follow us @borderlandscafe.  Also, it's kind of silly, but we're really pleased to have exceeded 5000 followers for the store's Twitter feed, @borderlands_sf.

* Thanks, io9:  I'm not sure how I got along before I knew about the "Alien vs. Predator" Chess Board! <http://io9.com/5874206/this-alien-versus-predator-chessboard-was-built-for-chessboxing?tag=tabletop-games>

December Bestsellers

1) Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
2) Reamde by Neal Stephenson
3) Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin
4)1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
5) Ready Player One by Earnest Cline
6) The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
7) Seed by Rob Ziegler
8)11/22/63 by Stephen King
9) Rule 34 by Charles Stross
10) Inheritance by Christopher Paolini tie with
      Zone One by Colson Whitehead

1) Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
2) Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
3) Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
4) Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin
5) Feed by Mira Grant
6) Fate's Edge by Ilona Andrews
7) Equations of Life by Simon Morden
8) Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan
9) Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie
10) Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch

Trade Paperbacks
1) Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
2) Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
3) Faith by John Love
4) Unpossible and Other Stories by Daryl Gregory
5) Empire State by Adam Christopher

What Happens When the Showrooms Go Away?

by Alan Beatts

In the aftermath of the holiday shopping season the consumer trends have turned out to be pretty much what anyone would have expected, other than people seeming to be willing to spend more money that was expected.  Barnes and Nobel, along with many independent booksellers, had a nice boost in sales due to Borders Books closing.  Even more stuff was bought on-line.  A little bit of a surprise was Amazon's offer to pay customers up to $5 to go into a local store, scan an item, walk out, and buy the same item on Amazon (a move that was decried by even some of the biggest tech and Amazon fans http://gawker.com/5865612/amazon-launches-christmas-attack-on-local-shops).

That recent offer from Amazon got me thinking about where that phenomenon (i.e. consumers shopping at physical stores and then buying online) might take us.  The obvious conclusion is that eventually the physical stores will vanish since they won't make enough sales to stay open.  But what happens then?

Obviously, people will have to get used to buying things without being able to take a look at them first, which is actually fine for most sort of product but may be troubling for people shopping for things like furniture, clothing, and so forth.  But even then, simple, friendly, no-questions-asked return policies will reassure consumers enough that it shouldn't be a big hurdle for on-line merchants.