Large 0213Borders1
Among other things. This week Borders rolled out the first of 20 new souped-up media-age “concept stores” which spotlight five areas: Traveling, Cooking, Wellness, Graphic Novels, and Children’s Books. According to the PR:

Certain categories within the new Borders concept store — Travel, Cooking, Wellness, Graphic Novels and Children’s — are so popular and rapidly growing that Borders has designated them as special destinations within the new concept store — giving these categories their own “shop within a shop” look and feel.

Journalists toured the store, located in Pittsfield Township, MI, this week and report it is filled with fancy space age gizmos:

The 29,000-square-foot store is not so different that you won’t know you’re in a Borders. But it’s filled with new digital features unlike anything the $4.1 billion Ann Arbor-based bookseller has offered before – like a kiosk where customers can mix and burn CDs and a video conferencing device called the LongPen that lets an author sign a book electronically.

ICv2 has more.

Certainly this tends to confirm that the graphic novel category is in growth mode for traditional booksellers.

Above: the pilot store’s GN section.


  1. That much-used picture of Tohru Honda from Fruits Basket (top center in the pic) really creeps me out, and that’s speaking as the series original editor. It’s been used in so many ads over the years — I can’t even go to the movies without seeing that image all over the Metreon in SF. And the funny thing is, that volume 1 cover image looks so different from the style she works into, it’s barely recognizable. C’mon, Fruits Basket promoters, mix it up!

    That said, I’m curious to check out one of the concept stores.

  2. > The LongPen … an author can sign a book electronically?
    > Sounds kinda … underwhelming … ?

    Yeah, that brief description kinda understates what the LongPen ( ) is all about and why it’s kinda cool. It’s not that it allows the author can sign a book electronically. It’s that it allows an author to sign a book, with his/her acutal signature, remotely. Folks can argue whether or not a video-conference is as appealing as face-to-face interaction between fan and author, or whether or not getting an author to transmit a signature to a robotic hand with a pen is as fulfilling as having an author’s hand actually touch your book, but I saw one in action at a book show once and gotta say, it’s certainly more interesting a piece of technology than one might at first think.