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When Borders Book Shop (as it was once known) opened in Ann Arbor circa 1971, selling both new and used books, it was far from the behemoth it is today. Since then, however, they’ve sold out to Kmart, merged with Waldenbooks, bought themselves back from Kmart, and now have stores in Singapore, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur. In its current manifestation, Borders can special order out-of-stock titles in about a week, and unlike its even bigger brother, Barnes & Noble, it will special order out-of-print titles. They have thousands of CDs and DVDs, and everything is organized on shelves; no tubs or stacks on the floor here. The coffee in their cafés is provided by a Starbucks subsidiary, and their stationary company is a leading brand in the U.K. But this slightly-upscale motif is more appearance than anything—while a Borders manager may tell you that the store’s employees are more knowledgeable and bookish than those of other big chains, a Borders employee will just as soon tell you that it only looks that way because of the stringent dress code.