Disorganized Borders


Today, I'm in Bohemia, NY.

Being near the center of Long Island, Bohemia is not really notable, or even separable from any other "town" or "village", except that it is really close to Southwest-friendly MacArthur Airport. Unfortunately, the Bohemia Borders bookstore is also notable -- for having no economics section. I expect this at Waldenbooks and the like, but a regular-sized Borders? Thomas Sowell is crammed into Marketing and James Surowiecki is in Small Business something-or-other. Henry Hazlitt is dismembered...

This would not be so bad except that the nonfiction books are not shelved by major category and author. In fact, they're sorted by an Borders-internal 4 digit code not indicated on the exterior of the shelves, and then by author within each major category and subcategory. Without staff assistance, it could take somebody ten or fifteen minutes of searching to actually find the book he's looking for.

Is this an intentional disorienting strategy to get people to ask for help, or just plain stupidity?

UPDATE 3/8/05: The Borders in Riverhead, NY has a three-shelf economics section, but the Borders Cafe here upped its coffee price to $1.75 while leaving the price on the board at $1.65. That's a big no-no in my book; Wal-Mart would be lambasted for such practices. To me, it looked at first that the server was pocketing a dime per cup, and I couldn't understand how that could possibly be worth it. And I only noticed because the bill came to $1.90, and I was agast that the sales tax rate on coffee would be 25/165=15.2%, but it was actually only 15/175 or 8.76%.


I'm not sure they have to be mutually excludable. I think it might be their intention to do this, but their intentions are clearly idiotic.

The standalone Borders in Peabody, MA used to have a couple of shelves of Economics about 4 years ago. Then they rotated all the bookcases by 90 degrees and presto, no economics section. It seems likely that the economic section still exists, but has been twisted into an alternate dimension warp in space-time. Given the imaginary nature of the content of most economics books, they've likely found an appropriate home.

Regards, Don

Hmmm. I suppose the content of the books might be debatable indeed. But it does seem like a missed opportunity.

If Econ is still the top undergrad major, you'd have to think that some of those people go on to a life of curiosity that includes reading about the topic they studied for four years. Not as many as get their reading-list marching orders from Oprah, but still...

Life, as we know it, does not exist east of Rt. 110.

Hmm...according to Encarta, business is the most popular college major (results culled from the annual Princeton Review survey). Econ is not in the top 10. Of course, it may be the #1 major at Duke, simply because that can be a gateway to major I-banks (unlike an average non-flagship state college), and, perhaps more to the point, the fact that the Fuqua School of Business has no undergraduate program. I can only hope that Econ does not become the most popular major in the near future, considering that I will be entering the (professional) labor market in about 5 years, and this most probably would cause my salary to be somewhat lower, considering the expanded supply.


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This page contains a single entry by Kevin published on March 7, 2005 12:44 PM.

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