by Laura Czingula
Borders is not just another bookstore. It is a place where people of all ages can go to enjoy themselves. Whether it be coffee, music, muffins or art, Borders has it and people are taking advantage of the opportunity.
Borders started out as a used bookstore many years ago in the 1970s. It originated from brothers Tom and Lewis Border. Eventually they turned it into a new bookstore and it soon evolved into what it is today: a chain of bookstores, music stores and cafés, all rolled into one.
“The coffee shop/bookstore is sort of a trend nowadays,” said Pete Ledesma, community relations coordinator. “Our No. 1 competitor is Barnes and Noble and they are doing the same thing.”
In one section of the store is the “Café Expresso.” This is where people can sit and order coffee, pastries and even soup while they are reading.
There are tables and chairs all over to give the store a more homey feeling and allow the people in the store to sit down and really enjoy themselves.
“We encourage reading to go on in the store,” said Ledesma. “We realize that books are expensive, and if someone wants to buy a $25 hardback book, they should be able to browse through it before purchasing it. And if they don’t purchase it at that time, hopefully they will come back eventually and buy from us later on.”
A similar concept goes along with the music section of Borders. There are listening stations with more than 500 compact disc selections to choose from. Borders offers music from “The Lion King” soundtrack for children, to classical music for adults. There are listening ear- phones throughout the store so people can hear the music before buying the selection.
“We think that way is a more effective concept,” said Ledesma. “This way usually prevents us from having any returns-the customer knows what they are getting before they take it home.”
The periodical and magazine section is located right next to the cafe. Borders orders more than 20 different newspapers from all around the world, ranging from the Kansas City Star to the Scotland Sunday. In addition, every magazine imaginable is displayed.
When asked what distinguishes Borders from other bookstores, Ledesma said, “Depth of selection is what Borders is all about. We carry more titles than any other bookstore, and if we don’t have it, we can order it for you. We created the most efficient book ordering service around.”
Borders offers titles on numerous subjects, such as cooking, math and science, sports, philosophy, anthropology, religion, psychology, social sciences and more.
Borders is a community place for everyone to enjoy. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, live bands play at the store, marketing it as a hang out rather than just a bookstore. Borders is usually based around colleges and universities for students to use to their advantage. However, people of all ages can be found browsing the store any time of the day.
“We have such a good relationship with students and the community,” said Ledesma. “We love to see students come in and have their books all over the table. We want them to feel at home here.”
Borders also offers seminars, dealing with matters that people may be going through on a daily basis.
“We stress variety,” Ledesma said.
Borders is located in Montclair next to the Montclair Plaza, off Interstate 10. It is open Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to midnight and Sunday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
“We offer a lot more than others, we are a full-time bookstore,”said Ledesma.