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Books-A-Million, 275 Harbison Boulevard: April 2013   8 comments

Posted at 10:49 pm in Uncategorized

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Well, if all you read is The State, you wouldn't have known until today that Books-A-Million on Harbison is closed.

On the other hand, if you read Columbia Closings you would have found out that from commenter TahoeChic last Tuesday, and would have learned from commenter Larry last Wednesday that it is to become a used book store.

I've always thought this was a bad location for BAM as it pits a second-tier book store directly against the number one book store sitting within sight of it (and in a better plaza). Certainly for myself, I will rarely hit a BAM if Barnes & Noble is an option. It's just a nicer store in almost every way. (Even BAM cafe coffee and cookies are noticably below the B&N standard). That said, I have stoped at this BAM quite a few times over the years. My impression is that it was the *deepest* bookstore I was ever in -- It seemed to take half an hour to walk back to the magazine rack in the rear.

I'm not sure how their 2nd & Charles concept will work out. The story in The State makes it sound a little different from your standard used book store, but it also sounds like more sizzle than steak. I'm not sure there is any way to compete against Amazon in this arena, and I especially can't imagine they would get the kind of profit that would support such a huge floor space. I wish them luck.

These pictures were taken on Sunday 28 April, and as I went to try and get through-the-glass shots, I saw that there were people inside working on the remodel, so they are apparently serious about getting the conversion done quickly. (And in consequence, I did not get those shots).

(Hat tip to commenter TahoeChic)

UPDATE 5 June 2013 -- The place claims it will open this month:

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UPDATE 12 July 2013 -- As mentioned in the comments, 2nd & Charles is now open:

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Written by ted on April 30th, 2013

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8 Responses to 'Books-A-Million, 275 Harbison Boulevard: April 2013'

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  1. I used to go to BAM mostly for the magazine selection. I agree that B&N is a better store, but its' such a pain in the butt getting out of that place sometimes!

    I was thinking before I read the newspaper article that, by the wording on the banner, this looked like more than a used book store. Even if they do sell used audio and video I'll bet I can still get a better deal through Amazon or GoHastings. I used to look for my used stuff at Manifest but they still charge more than I can get the same item for online. If they sell some used vinyl I may check them out, but they still won't beat Papa Jazz in Five Points. I'm not an avid reader, so I may check them out for 'non-novel' items, but I won't go out of my way to look.

    Homer

    1 May 13 at 2:03 am

  2. I'm with Homer; I'd hit this BAM before I'd hit B&N because it was easier to get in and out of (and larger).

    But, I haven't been to Harbison in at least five years or so. Traffic sucks hard and with Amazon, there's really not much reason to hit the bookstores any more (which was pretty much the only reason I went to Harbison in the first place).

    tonkatoy

    1 May 13 at 6:33 am

  3. Any time I'm in Augusta I'll stop in at the 2nd and Charles there (it's also in a former Books-A-Million). The selection is constantly changing and I've run across some real steals there; more than once I've paid $4 or less for a used/rare book that would have cost me no less than $40 through Amazon or Alibris, etc.

    The relative handful of new books will sell at the cover price, so there's no real advantage there. The low prices on used books, records, games, movies, etc., and the "never know what you'll find" factor are the draw. I'm not into comics or games, so I can't comment on those elements, and I only give the music and movies a passing glimpse since I get those elsewhere.

    2nd and Charles, at least from the used book angle, reminds me a lot of McKay's in Knoxville and its cousin Mr. K's in Greenville (or, for that matter, Title Wave in Anchorage) - new stuff is always coming in, you frequently find things you never expected, and sometimes you can find a real bargain or two.

    Alaska Jill

    1 May 13 at 7:10 am

  4. Homer,

    They do indeed carry new and used vinyl.

    jonathan

    1 May 13 at 8:10 am

  5. I always liked this BAM better than the B&N across the road. It was easier to get in and out of traffic-wise, but the set up of the store seemed better, too. But I hate Harbison even though I live on St. Andrews. I'd much rather go to the B&N at the old Richland Mall than go to Harbison.

    Joe Hinson

    1 May 13 at 1:48 pm

  6. Much like movie rental places, I don't see a long term future for bookstores what with the large scale move to electronic media. I am an avid reader and have not bought a paper book in several years. I'm probably an early adopter but I suspect the next generation will see much less people buying paper books.

    Justin

    1 May 13 at 8:18 pm

  7. I preferred BAM for their selection of things other than books. Loved their discounted book selection too. I felt it was easier to find books too. I am heartbroken they closed. B&N staff can have a bad attitude at times too.

    Beth

    9 Jun 13 at 4:27 pm

  8. I've already posted this on 'Have Your Say''. The BAM store at Trenholm Plaza will be closing in March.

    joelc

    2 Feb 14 at 3:11 am

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