Wednesday, July 20, 2011


"Use your gift cards now"

Well, Border is closing down. I think that's a tragedy but honestly I can't figure out how they stayed open as long as they did. Bookstores always struggle, and Borders was one of those "have a donut and read for free" shops. It was great for customers such as men waiting for their wife to buy another pair of shoes, but for booksellers, is having people eat and browse through your inventory at the same time really wise?

Book sellers are suffering at present because while its always been a rough business, people are just not reading as much as they once did and when they do, they tend to read online or e-books more often these days than ever before. Since Borders didn't invest as heavily in electronic books and online shopping as, say, Barnes & Noble (who has the Nook reader), they basically got left behind.

What's interesting is that in areas like my town, Borders was always hopping, there were lines at the checkout counter, but I guess that wasn't true everywhere, and not enough to stay in business.

I hate to see any business shut down because it means the death of someone's dream. People worked hard and long to make it work, and it didn't, which is just sad to me. I know all too well what that's like. And I especially hate to see book stores close because I love books and I want people to read more. Even if I wasn't an author I'd want that; its good for society for people to be literate, not just able but willing to read.

B. Dalton and Waldenbooks used to be big in malls too, now I never see any of them. I particularly liked Waldenbooks. Borders will be missed, I got some great books for great deals there. Thankfully the used book market appears to be surviving still.

The malls, already suffering, which lose a Borders will face even greater difficulties. Malls used to be huge, but since you can shop online for most of what you want, they're getting even tougher to justify. Clothing will always be preferable in person but most other goods you get at a mall you can get just as easily - and usually cheaper - online.

So Border shutting down leaves a pretty big hole in the local retail market. And in this economy, with unemployment what it is - particularly for the college age employee that Borders tended to hire - this is even harder news.


David Hoffman said...

Since I buy all my books from nowadays, I guess I am partially responsible. Sorry about that.

Christopher R Taylor said...

The sad thing is, I buy my books either used or online, too. Usually used, online. So I'm partly to blame. I can't help it, I'm poor.

JoelAT said...

Have fun trying to browse the shelves of your beloved online stores. Keep reading the same authors you always have.

David Hoffman said...

Actually Amazon makes all sorts of recommendations for me based on my browsing history. Sometimes I wonder about the results I get.