There are quite a few things I want to discuss on this blog. People of color and Jane Austen. A case of whitewashing. How to get more kids of color to read. And well I'm not exactly sure what else just yet but there's always a whole lot on my mind and since I'm finding less and less time to read (and it's SUMMER! I cringe to think about how difficult it will be during school), I will be blathering on at least once a month. For now, I'd like to focus on Borders closing (why oh why did Books-A-Million not buy it)?
I'm devastated. I support indie bookstores all the way, but my own indie has a terrible selection of diverse YA books and while they are willing to order, I hate ordering books. I much prefer being able to enter a bookstore and browse and actually read the summaries on the back of a book (yes I am strange). I live about 10 minutes from Chicago so I can find another indie bookstore or a Barnes & Noble fairly easily but still. I have an avid love/hate relationship with Borders. I loved all the books it had, the atmosphere. I hated the poor selection of diverse books in the store and the expensive prices. But there was nothing I liked better than receiving a Borders giftcard for my birthday. The only 'good' thing about Borders closing (besides the potential for more indies to thrive) is that they are having a big sale. EVERYTHING MUST GO.
As soon as I arrived home from D.C. I went to Borders that very night. I was pleased (and a little irked-but mostly pleased) that the majority of the YA section was gone, even the few YA books about poc weren't there. But then again, there weren't many to begin with. Then I went upstairs to the African American section. Almost ALL the books are still there. WHY? WHY? WHY?????
I was absolutely shocked. It was 10% off which granted isn't much (in fact I'm fairly certain I got ripped off in the end. Ah well I'm done splurging) but c'mon people! I went on a Sunday night, a day when many people aren't working or running errands. So really there is no excuse for not finding time to visit Borders. Are there so many books left because we Black people really don't like to read? (Of course not). Do we just not know about the sale? Do we not care? It's absolutely bizarre, the shelves were overflowing and it almost broke my heart. There were so many books in that section that I wanted but couldn't afford after I made my purchases (I bought four books). Pearl Cleage, Octavia Butler, Toni Morrison, the books were all there, waiting to be picked up and brought home.
So I ask you when you are eagerly snatching up books at your local Borders, consider buying a book or two from the African American section. And if you have any guesses as to why this section still has so many books, leave me a comment/email me with your thoughts! Have you noticed this at your local Borders?
PS This is a must-read post on how mismangement killed Borders