In the past few years, Elk Grove—once a small hamlet—has acquired many of the things that make a city a city: its own police department, and soon, its own elected mayor. But with the this summer, the city will no longer have its own mainstream bookstore.
Residents and city officials this week lamented the loss of the and the 32 jobs it provides.
“Borders feels like it is built for the community,” said Laryn Hoggard, 20, as she shopped at the store Tuesday. “This one is the best. I’ve been coming here since I was a little kid.”
Borders Group spokesperson Mary Davis said the bankrupt chain will begin holding liquidation sales at all its nearly 400 stores soon, with all of them shutting their doors by the end of September. The actual closing date of the Elk Grove location will depend on how fast its inventory sells, she said.
Other shoppers said they weren’t looking forward to having to leave town for books.
Elk Grove’s sole other non-religious bookstore, Almost Perfect Used Books, is “kind of hit or miss,” said resident Tish Cabrey. The store specializes in used novels, and also carries some new books.
Readers can also make use of Elk Grove’s two public libraries— and —which together circulate about 60,000 items per month.
However, Brenda Haggard, spokesperson for Sacramento Public Libraries, said libraries and bookstores tend to attract different people.
“People who borrow books from the library will sometimes buy books but it’s hard to tell whether the fact that there’s not a retail outlet there in town will have an impact on our circulation numbers,” Haggard said. “We’ll have to wait and see.”
Desiree Chavez, an employee at the Elk Grove Borders, said that while she had planned to leave her job soon to focus on her studies at Cosumnes River College, the store has many long-term employees who are upset about the closing.
“They’re actually really depressed,” she said. “Some of them have been here for like 15 years.”
Elk Grove's Borders has long served as a gathering place for everyone from college students to retirees. As workers began preparing the store for closing Wednesday, both they and Patch readers wondered whether Borders’s former competitor Barnes and Noble might want to move in.
City spokesperson Christine Brainerd said in an email that the city would do its best to help fill the retail space and “make opening a business in that location a quick and seamless process.”
Brainerd called the departure of Borders a loss for the community and the City of Elk Grove, but added, “We do not foresee any [economic] ripple effects in the short term. The city is confident the space will be filled.”
Brainerd declined to say how much Borders generated for the city in tax revenue, but said it was not among the city’s top 50 revenue generators in its most recent sales tax report.