Borders

★★★★☆
  • 11745 I H-10 West

    San Antonio, TX 78230

    Map & Directions
  • 210-561-0022

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4.0 1
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I'm in this store at least once a week, if not more often, so I know it well. Of all the Borders stores in SA, this one exceeds even the Quarry location for me, simply because it feels the most spacious, thanks to a great, intelligent layout. The coffee shop is huge, plenty of room, bright and cheerful during the day, dark and atmospheric at night. In the store itself, things are where they need to be, almost always. Like most of the big-box chains the organization of the bargain bins and audiobooks leave a lot to be desired, but in the general sense, this store is efficient and sensible. My only real complaint about this store is that the DVD section is unacceptably dark--you just about need a flashlight to see the titles! I don't know what the problem is--I've complained about it, but the store is still making some adjustments after a renovation of the coffee shop only a few feet away.

Like the other Borders stores in town, the selection is rather good, although it can be difficult to find works by authors who aren't on the bestseller list often. I usually have to flit between different stores to find a complete mystery series; they're rarely in one location, unless it's a big name like Sue Grafton. It's unrealistic to carry every title by every author, so I don't sweat it. But it can be frustrating at times to scour for a book only a few years old, just because the author didn't sell 80 jillion copies of some book in his career.

If you're a manga fan, this store is an answer to many dreams; it has one of the most extensive selections in town; I've seen bedrooms smaller than the area the manga section occupies. The selection is geared more toward the shonen and shoujo varieties of manga, although this store probably has the most extensive selection of yaoi in town (go figure!).

The staff is usually pretty good, but the turnover seems a bit high. You may encounter a new clerk struggling with register duties, but nearly all employees are invariably friendly and eager to help.

The store has good sales and an okay bargain bin area (not the greatest), but of course Borders has a reward program. Since it's free to join, I strongly recommend signing up for it if you plan to shop at Borders often; in some ways, the Rewards plan makes it smart to look here first for books, CDs or DVDs. With one recent purchase, I essentially got a just-released hardback and audiobook for less than the price of the audiobook, thanks to the sale price and Reward bennies.

Intangibles: For some reason, parking here is a lot less strenuous than at the other stores; it's getting to and leaving the store that might give you a stroke. Especially leaving. If you've never attempted this leg of the I-10 Frontage road...well, you'll learn what I mean. Tips from locals: If you absolutely must visit this store during afternoon rush hour and need to take 10 W to get there (going toward 1604), DO NOT take the Huebner exit. You will regret it. Instead, go past it to the Woodstone exit, turn (right) on Woodstone (watch out for drivers who don't know how to yield to people leaving a freeway). Turn right on Vance Jackson. Right on Huebner. Then right on Huebner Oaks Blvd. It's a little out of the way, but you've just saved at least 20 minutes of sitting on the frontage road. Any other time, taking the Huebner exit is fine. But not at about 5-7 pm.

4
★★★★☆

I'm in this store at least once a week, if not more often, so I know it well. Of all the Borders stores in SA, this one exceeds even the Quarry location for me, simply because it feels the most spacious, thanks to a great, intelligent layout. The coffee shop is huge, plenty of room, bright and cheerful during the day, dark and atmospheric at night. In the store itself, things are where they need to be, almost always. Like most of the big-box chains the organization of the bargain bins and audiobooks leave a lot to be desired, but in the general sense, this store is efficient and sensible. My only real complaint about this store is that the DVD section is unacceptably dark--you just about need a flashlight to see the titles! I don't know what the problem is--I've complained about it, but the store is still making some adjustments after a renovation of the coffee shop only a few feet away.

Like the other Borders stores in town, the selection is rather good, although it can be difficult to find works by authors who aren't on the bestseller list often. I usually have to flit between different stores to find a complete mystery series; they're rarely in one location, unless it's a big name like Sue Grafton. It's unrealistic to carry every title by every author, so I don't sweat it. But it can be frustrating at times to scour for a book only a few years old, just because the author didn't sell 80 jillion copies of some book in his career.

If you're a manga fan, this store is an answer to many dreams; it has one of the most extensive selections in town; I've seen bedrooms smaller than the area the manga section occupies. The selection is geared more toward the shonen and shoujo varieties of manga, although this store probably has the most extensive selection of yaoi in town (go figure!).

The staff is usually pretty good, but the turnover seems a bit high. You may encounter a new clerk struggling with register duties, but nearly all employees are invariably friendly and eager to help.

The store has good sales and an okay bargain bin area (not the greatest), but of course Borders has a reward program. Since it's free to join, I strongly recommend signing up for it if you plan to shop at Borders often; in some ways, the Rewards plan makes it smart to look here first for books, CDs or DVDs. With one recent purchase, I essentially got a just-released hardback and audiobook for less than the price of the audiobook, thanks to the sale price and Reward bennies.

Intangibles: For some reason, parking here is a lot less strenuous than at the other stores; it's getting to and leaving the store that might give you a stroke. Especially leaving. If you've never attempted this leg of the I-10 Frontage road...well, you'll learn what I mean. Tips from locals: If you absolutely must visit this store during afternoon rush hour and need to take 10 W to get there (going toward 1604), DO NOT take the Huebner exit. You will regret it. Instead, go past it to the Woodstone exit, turn (right) on Woodstone (watch out for drivers who don't know how to yield to people leaving a freeway). Turn right on Vance Jackson. Right on Huebner. Then right on Huebner Oaks Blvd. It's a little out of the way, but you've just saved at least 20 minutes of sitting on the frontage road. Any other time, taking the Huebner exit is fine. But not at about 5-7 pm.

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In Short
Originating in Ann Arbor, Mich., in 1971, this international bookstore chain is known for its vast selection of books, movies and music, as well as a comfortable atmosphere. Cozy chairs, scattered tables and music…

 

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