- 9 Magdalen Street
- OX1 3AD
- Monday-Saturday 9am to 11pm; Sunday 11am to 5pm
Closed as of December 2009.
I have this theory that both Borders and Amazon are employing some really cool hack with your mind to persuade you to shop with them. The worse bit is that it's much harder to ignore Borders since they have a big gleaming front door to suck you in, whereas Amazon requires you to be sufficiently bored of an evening to actually visit their web site. (I've just gone to http://www.borders.com/ and my suspicions are growing.)
Borders has an excellent range of competitively-priced CDs; the choice is not as large as HMV or Virgin Megastore, but the atmosphere is much nicer, as they don't feel the need to pump out the latest commercial rubbish at full volume. (However for classical music HMV's basement is a must). They have such a number of multi-buy type deals that I have on more than one occasion gone in for something, seen it on offer and then spent the next 45 minutes deciding which others to make up the offer. Usually this ends up with me getting more than one offer. Borders also features a system that is only starting to appear in other chains where you can listen to most CDs at the listening posts by scanning a barcode on the CD case. Unfortunately, they don't seem to be particularly great at keeping the system up-to-date — I've found that many newer releases aren't available for listening in this way. Furthermore, a lot of their headphones are now rather the worse for wear.
I've been there mainly for CDs so far, but the book selection seems fairly good too. There is also, of course Starbucks (Borders) to enjoy. The sofas aren't as comfy as those in Coffee Republic (Blackwell's), but the coffee shop is temptingly close to the magazine selection (probably the best in Oxford) which provides a nice excuse for stopping for a coffee.
The other nice thing about this place are its opening hours. Go after 8pm, and it's nice and relaxed; it really is the civilised way to shop.