Friday Potpourri: Appropriate Snark and Keeping Busy.

At some point in the past week, the article below popped up on my radar screen and I filed it away until I had a few minutes to mull it over. It’s been one of those weeks. A non-stop roller coaster of phone calls, e-mails, reports, budgets, “Where the heck is my print order?” and “How soon can I get it?” kind of week.

Frankly, that’s a good thing. You want to be busy.

On the heels of the article, was an e-mail passed around our shallow little pool of the magazine industry that Books A Million will be picking up and re-opening up to 45 former Borders Superstores or Walden/Borders Express specialty stores. Interesting. I thought no one wanted to be in the bookstore business anymore. This is good news. While the layouts, staffing and feel of Books A Million is very different from Borders or Barnes & Noble, the chain is well run and has a deep magazine section. I’m encouraged by this news.

It will mean more work. I’ll have to pull the numbers for what my clients were selling in these stores and make sure (key words: Make Sure), that the copies get into these newly minted Books A Million stores.

Frankly, that’s a good thing. You want to be busy.

In a story that won’t die, this Media Post story is circling the globe and keeps winding up in my in-box. Thank you, Media Post. May I point out to you the growth in spin offs for some many of these titles. The heavy subscription efforts that are made by these publishers. The launch and growth of many new titles outside of these categories. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m busy.

MediaBistro’s circulated the photograph below that shows the final thoughts of a soon to be former Borders store employee. He or she wanted to let the customers know what he really thought about them. I spent the better part of my high school years working behind the counter of a family run drugstore, and a semester in college at a catalog showroom. So I have a real appreciation of how hard retail work is.


Sour grapes? Oh yes. This author is beyond angry. Snark filled? Check. If you’ve worked a holiday season in retail, it’s very funny.  If you’re offended, either you’ve never worked retail, or you’re going straight to heaven. Do I empathize with this employee? Beyond a doubt. But if I were the manager, I would have given the employee a sympathetic hug, and then fired him. There’s a world of difference between “Restroom Closed: Try Amazon” and insulting your customer. Even if you won’t have any more in a few hours.

Not surprisingly, the post has generated quite a few comments ranging from what I just said, to “Right on!” and somewhere in between.

What do you think? In the end, shouldn’t the discussion really focus on how and if printed books, magazines, newspapers and booksellers will be a part of our future? And, are you keeping busy?

3 Replies to “Friday Potpourri: Appropriate Snark and Keeping Busy.”

  1. I’m not sure if that was ever up in the store when customers were there. I will say that at the time of the liquidation the employees were no longer employed by Borders rather they were employees of the liquidator. Management was still ‘Borders’ management but still employed by the liquidator. And I’m not sure too many managers would care if the employees wrote that and at least kept it in the back room.

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