Saturday, March 19, 2011


I've been a bookseller for twenty-one years now but it looks like that
part of my life is coming to an end.  I work for the Borders Books
store in Braintree Ma, and as many of you know, the company is
reorganizing under Chapter 11. Yesterday they made the decision
to close our store by the end of May. I've worked there eleven years
now, longer than anyone else on the staff.

Working in a bookstore was a dream job for me,.although I started
out in the receiving room of the old Lauriat's Book's store in the
basement of the South Shore Plaza (also in Braintree). I worked my
way up from receiver to assistant manager at the Taunton store to
managing the Avon store in Lauriat's Royal Discount Books division.
But then Lauriat's went out of business. After a short ill-fated stint at
Hollywood Video I went to work for Borders.

I've enjoyed most of the people I've worked with over the years, and
I liked helping customers find the books they were looking for, either
for themselves or as gifts for others. I got a kick out of customers who'd
tell me how much they'd liked the book or author I'd recommended to
them. I've been at this for so long I can sometimes tell a customer who
wrote a book without having to check the computer for the information,
and I can find a book on a shelf because I know what the cover looks like.

I'm going to miss that, working in a field I enjoy and doing something I'm good
at for a living.

Most of all I'm going to miss the people I've worked with at Borders. I took a
camera with me to work today to take pictures before the chaos that is a
liquidation sale starts on Thursday. I won't post the pictures I took of people
here,.but I do have a few of the store.

A display of local interest books with some of my favorites

The Images of America books display

Looking down the aisle towards the history department.
It's going to be hard to close this chapter of my life. We'll see what the next one brings.


Sheri said...

Oh Bill,

I am so sad to hear this. You are a magnificent book seller, but you make good videos too! I could send those JibJab videos to a few studios out here in California. No need to thank me, I just want to do my part and help a friend in need.


Seriously, let me know if I can help whenever you need it.


Lisa / Smallest Leaf said...

I'm so sorry to hear this, Bill. I hope that a new door opens for you very soon.

Smallest Leaf

Cheryl Palmer said...

I can only imagine how you must feel. Wishing you all the best in the next chapter of your life.

Susan Petersen said...

It's always sad to learn that a bookstore is closing. Books, learning and knowledge are such important tools to the development of all people. Bill, I'm hoping that another career opportunity will open its door to you very, very soon.

Greta Koehl said...

Bill - I am so sorry to hear this. Like good librarians, really knowledgeable book people do not grow on trees and should be treasured. Hope someone is wise and lucky and opens that next door for you!

Heather Rojo said...

So sorry to hear about your job and your bookstore. You always wrote such nice things about your coworkers and the books. After reading this I know that any other bookstore would be lucky to have you working for them. Time to turn a new page in your life...

GrannyPam said...

Oh dear. I must say, I love your attitude. I hope you find the right door, and great joy in what is behind it.

Cynthia Shenette said...

I too am sad to hear this. Given your knowledge of books, you might consider a move into the library world. Many people I know have transitioned into libraries as a second or even third career. You'd be a great asset with your knowledge of books, the book business, and genealogy/family history.

Wishing you the best...

Kerry Scott said...

I had a bad feeling when I saw the most recent announcement that you might be included. I'm so sorry to hear this.

I've been through shutdowns. They're no fun. Take good care of yourself.

Dorene from Ohio said...

Sending good thoughts your way...I too think you would be a great match for a library career!

dee-burris said...

Oh wow, sorry to hear this.

But maybe this is your opportunity to fashion your dream job.

Nancy said...

I'm so sorry. I don't know which is sadder: you losing your job or the book-buying public losing your guidance as a bookseller. I hope you can find a position at another bookstore (if that's what you want).

Brenda Leyndyke said...

Bill, I am sorry to hear of your store being closed. I am sure your customers will miss your expertise. I hope your next adventure is even more grand.

Bill West said...

Thanks, everyone!

Barbara Poole said...

Bill, although I commented on fb about this sad news, I wanted to post here as well. This is indeed the saddest news, as a book lover, I hate seeing our bookstores close. As with the others, I hope for something better to come along, and I wish you well. We'll all be following you on fb, so keep us updated.

Karen Packard Rhodes said...

I'm so sorry this has happened. If another door does not open for you, at least find a window to crawl through!

Hope you find something satisfying, and that it doesn't take too long!

Martin said...

I feel your pain. I was unemployed for two years after having my library let me go. I've given up librarianship and now work in another field. Books are like dodo birds--there's no way around it. I would find something else to do that can use your skills and expertise. Good luck.

Pam Schaffner said...

Bill, as we near our last days at the Mason, OH, Borders, I am having many of the same feelings. Although it was just my "little" job (I'm a librarian by day), I am going to miss all the wonderful folks I've worked with and the appreciative customers. Nothing like placing that much-searched-for book into the hands of a a book lover like me!

Leah Kleylein said...

I'm really sorry to hear this Bill. I'm wishing you the best of luck in whatever it is you decide to do next!