Friday, August 07, 2009

Death of a Bookstore

Borders Bookstore in Blanchardstown is shutting its doors this weekend, another victim to the recession and another indicator of just how quickly the country is sinking. An Spailpín will be out there this weekend, with wheelbarrow and credit card, looking for bargains with all the other vultures, but it will be a sad affair.

Though never a favorite, Borders was a lovely store to visit, as its parent stores in England and the US are. There was a coffee shop upstairs where ladies could sip tea and discuss Jodi Picoult, and there was a huge, really huge, selection of books.

If it had a fault, Borders always had a little too much of the taste of Britain about it. Like a lot of stores in the shopping centres in Dublin, you can get a sense of disorientation in there, not being sure if you’re in Dublin or Doncaster. A stronger Irish tinge to the place would have made a difference, and a few less examples of the Jeremy Clarkson / Chris McNab school of letters.

It’s unlikely that touch of Irish would have saved it though. It saves so very little else in the country as we slip further beneath the waves. Ultimately, there just weren’t enough people buying enough books for Borders to continue.

Maybe if had had been in the main Blanchardstown Shopping Centre, rather than one of the retail parks. Maybe if traffic weren’t so nightmarish on the M50 that people would be more inclined to stop and browse, rather than set the teeth grimly and keep crawling for home. Maybe if the worse recession since the thirties hadn’t descended from the clear blue skies...

No matter. Borders is gone now, and it’ll a long time before its masters back in head office sign off on another Irish adventure. In the meantime, the site is empty, waiting for whoever will take it over. The bottom has fallen out of the lap-dancing market, if you’ll pardon the pun – maybe Borders will become a tattoo parlour? After all, they already have the KFC out there.

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