Customers happy local Borders store isn't on closing list

February 17, 2011|By DAN DEARTH |
  • The Borders at the Centre at Hagerstown. Borders filed for bankruptcy protection Wednesday, Feb. 16, and will close 30 percent of its stores.
By Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

Customers shopping at the Borders book store in Hagerstown Wednesday, hours after the chain filed for bankruptcy protection, said they depended on the bookseller for their reading material.

The company plans to close about 200 of its 642 stores over the next few weeks, but the Hagerstown store apparently has been spared.

Mary Davis, a spokeswoman for Borders, based in Ann Arbor, Mich., said Wednesday that the Hagerstown store is "not on the list of the 200 that are closing."

But, she noted: "We can never guarantee that a store will stay open indefinitely."

"There isn't a bookstore like this within miles," said John "Fil" Graff, who drove about 30 minutes to get to Borders from St. Thomas, Pa., with his wife, Robbie Graff. "I don't even want to think about going somewhere else."

The Graffs, like many others, said the selection of books at the Hagerstown Borders beats other bookstores in the Tri-State area.

"I groaned when I heard it," Robbie Graff said of the Borders bankruptcy filing.

Dave Strickler said the Hagerstown Borders is the only decent bookstore that is close to his home in Waynesboro, Pa.

He said he usually makes the drive once a month to buy history books and would have to resort to shopping online to buy his reading material if the store closes.

"What else can you do?" he said.

A former employee of the Hagerstown Borders, Brian Roland, of Berkeley Springs, W.Va., said he hadn't heard that the chain had filed for bankruptcy.

He also said Borders was the only good bookstore within miles.

The store is special because it's never busy, and employees are always available to help customers, Roland said.

"I just come in, hang out and look for books," he said. "It would be a shame (if it closed). This is a good place to get books."

Halfway resident Regis Buckwalter said he was shopping for  the most recent "World Almanac and Book of Facts," but he couldn't find it. He said he has read the almanac every year since the late 1940s.

"I'll just go on the telephone and call Borders to get it," he said. "Going online is worse yet."

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