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Borders and various bookstores

Hi! I'm writing an AU set in a Borders bookstore, and have just realised that I'm basing in on Aussie Borders, which I assume is different than the American Borders?

I know that America has Starbucks instead of Gloria Jeans, but is that it? What does American Borders have in it? Are they all a little different? Or very similar? How are they set up?

Do the workers have uniforms? Inquiring minds would like to know!

So please, spam me with your American bookstore knowledges. Tell me about even little things that you think might not matter or I might know. Even little details are helpful!

Thank you!


( 6 people helped — Oooh! I know! )
Feb. 10th, 2008 05:06 am (UTC)
Borders has a cafe called Seattles Best Coffee, and the cafe workers wear uniforms (khakis and black polo shirts with aprons). The Border's bookseller's staff wears street clothes, not 100% on their clothing restrictions. I imagine tshirts with writing are off limits, etc.

I don't really know what else is noticable. There's an enourmous magazine kiosk at the front entrance of my Border's as well as a rather large gift section where you can buy pens, bookmarks, greeting cards, stationery, gift wrap, scrapbooking supplies, bookends, notebooks, journals and bags.

The kid's section is usually toward the back, and painted much more brightly with shorter shelves.

Hmmm, usually they're going to be in a strip mall with other stores -- usually a grocers, office supply, pet supply, and home improvement, along with medical offices, and cell phone carrier, and restaurants.

Borders also has a frequent shopper program for which they give you a card for your wallet, as well as a key chain fob mini-card.

Starbucks cafes are actually found in Barnes & Nobles booksellers.

Edited at 2008-02-10 05:08 am (UTC)
Feb. 10th, 2008 07:56 am (UTC)
In general, the CD, DVD and Children's/YA Lit sections are towards the back of the store, there is a Fiction section, generally towards the front, a Non-fiction section that's usually behind that, a Horror section (think Stephen King), Romance, Mystery (though that might be in the same area as the Horror), Sci-Fi/Fantasy, and Manga sections are getting to be HUGE. And there is a magazine section that's usually right inside the door.

Only big stores have a cafe, there are smaller stores that don't, as well as Borders Express stores, which are in like, malls and strip malls. Big stores will either be in their own building or part of a large section of big stores, like Target, Kohl's, etc.

By the check out line there are always rotating racks of bookmarks that are so hard to resist, racks of bargain books are in the entrances of big stores as well as by check out, there are racks of stationary/note books somewhere in the store, mine has them by check out, and there are usually things like decorated pens and mini-books on Tarot or Harry Potter or the Kama Sutra. And always there are displays of candy (Lindt's Truffles) and Burt's Bees Chapstick by the registers.

Behind the counter they keep reserved/held orders, expensive things like collectible light sabers (god knows why a book store sells these) and ads for coming book releases/sales.

What, I don't practically live in Borders, what are you talking about?
Feb. 13th, 2008 04:47 am (UTC)
Burt's Bees! *grin*

There's also wireless in many of the cafes. I don't know if it's in all of them yet, but there are at least 3 around here with it.
Feb. 10th, 2008 04:35 pm (UTC)
In recent years, Borders has been cutting down on the chairs scattered around the building. They used to be in huge circles (sort of book club-esque?) in about four or six places in the store (Depending on how big the store was) but now there's about four to six areas where there's two chairs, sitting back to back.

Sorry if this doesn't matter, it's a source of constant annoyance to us freeloaders who liked the loafing opportunities.

And I should probably add that some bookstores have a room in the back for the very important authors that decide to do a reading.
Hope this helps!
Feb. 10th, 2008 05:39 pm (UTC)
I agree with all the previous comments, although I'm usually better with correcting incorrect information (because it reminds me of the correct info) than offering it in the first place... so if you ever want to supply us with the AU, I'd be fine with perusing it and seeing if it checks out. :)
Feb. 12th, 2008 10:19 pm (UTC)
re: setup- I've only been to one Borders [in Atlanta] but... I can give you a couple things about that one.

As you go up to the entrance there's a set of wooden double doors with windows in the front, then a small entrance hall-ish room with clearance/new arrival books in wire [maybe. it's been awhile since I've been...] shelves on the sides... then another set of double doors [with metal detectors right on the other side] and on into the store. The doors open out, if that matters. I think once or twice they've had shelves of clearance books right outside the doors, too.

The music/DVD section is in the very back, in... not quite a corner, but close. It's relatively big, and has a pretty good selection of music. It's sorted by type, but the only thing I remember is that the Broadway/soundtracks are on the shelf closest to the back wall, facing the wall. The sheet music and music theory books are fairly close to the music/DVD section, on a shelf against a wall that faces the back wall. It's not a full wall, more like....
________________________ (back wall)

________________________ (other wall)

This Borders is completely freestanding- there's a jewelry store nearby, but that's the only thing that's really anywhere close.
( 6 people helped — Oooh! I know! )


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