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No Joy in Bookville

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The liquidation of the Borders Group’s national bookstore chain — which includes stores in Albuquerque — has drawn mixed reaction from several local independent bookstore owners.

Steven Morado Stout, the owner of Page One Bookstore, said he hopes to gain customers from the Borders demise.

“I look at it as an opportunity for more independent stores to open up around the country to fill that void,” Stout said.

In addition, he said, he was planning to match Borders’ discounts during the initial stage of Borders’ liquidation sale. He said the discount would apply to new books, not to its stock of used books.

Page One, at 11018 Montgomery NE, has had its own financial issues. The store was reorganized under Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year.

“We’ve kept our staff intact, we’re staying in our current location, the landlord has dropped our rent in half and the bank is asking us to only make our normal interest payments on the line of credit,” an optimistic Stout said.

Elizabeth Anker, the owner of Alamosa Books, at 8810 Holly NE, said she never considered Borders as Alamosa’s competitor.

“That’s because they’ve had a very small section of kids’ books and it’s not been very well put together. That’s been endemic chainwide,” Anker said.

Her store’s primary audience are children, including the young-adult market, which she said includes college students. “That’s where Borders has been the weakest,” Anker said.

Wyatt Wegrzyn ,a co-owner of Bookworks, 4022 Rio Grande NW, said he is saddened to see any bookstore in the community close.

“They’re competition, but books are important. We lose a bookstore, we lose a place to talk about books, about literature, and a place to buy books,” Wegrzyn said.

He thinks the two Borders stores in the Northeast Heights — one at ABQ Uptown and the other on Wyoming and Academy — had been in closer competition with the Barnes & Noble store in the Coronado Shopping Center as well as with Amazon online than with his North Valley store.

“It’s tough when you have three titans fighting,” Wegrzyn said. “But it leaves room for small, independent bookstores to provide services in this market. But bargain shoppers are bargain shoppers.”

Borders also had stores on Albuquerque’s West Side and in Santa Fe that closed earlier.

The Journal left phone messages and sent emails seeking comment at Barnes & Noble’s corporate communications department.

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