By JAMES CASEY
The brown paper covering the windows of the old Borders space has finally been torn down. On Saturday, October 29 the site of a downtown bookstore was once again filled, this time for good, by the Fairfield University bookstore.
The building at 1499 Post Road has been a home to two businesses in the past year, both of them bookstores. Last May, Borders bookstore closed due to the company’s bankruptcy. Shortly after Borders’ truly final sale ended, the Book Warehouse, which sold a mixture of new and used books, rushed in to fill the void. It was met with harsh criticism because of its lack of new books, but it was meant to be temporary.
Business and Marketing teacher Stefanie Weise believes that the new Fairfield University bookstore has a decent shot at success.
“[Borders] was a place that really encouraged you to sit and stay a while, it was very welcoming,” said Weise. “Fairfield is an affluent community and many of its citizens have disposable incomes… I think that the new bookstore will be a success if the University can create some sort of business that allows people to come in and socialize. If they can do that, then they will prosper.”
According to the Fairfield Citizen, the new bookstore will occupy 12,000 square feet on the ground floor and 7,500 square ft. (almost half) of the second floor.
The store will serve as the main source for textbooks and other study supplies such as folders and notebooks, for university students. It will sell general interest books and bestselling books, as well as merchandise from FLHS and other nearby high schools.
“I was very sad when Borders closed,” said senior Campbell Habetz. “It was a great part of the community… I’m really glad that it will be a bookstore and that the Fairfield University community, which is kind of isolated from the town, will be integrated into the vibrant downtown.”
Fairfield University officials recently announced that in January, Starbucks will open a 50-seat café where Seattle’s Best Coffee once resided in Borders. The university is also trying to bring a computer retailer to the store, although they are still in negotiations. Despite the addition of a Starbucks and a possible technology section, some students, like freshman Will Graham, had mixed emotions regarding the new bookstore.
“I don’t think that Borders was a very big part of Fairfield,” Graham said. “It was just another place to go after school on Fridays… If I really want a book I’ll just go on Amazon and order one.”
Even so, the new bookstore will be able to count on the crowds of students from Tomlinson and Roger Ludlowe Middle Schools and FLHS.
Freshman Amanda Fitzburgh found Borders a great hang-out spot and eagerly awaited the arrival of the Fairfield University bookstore. “I’ll be there,” she said.