Borders Bankruptcy: Can Oprah Bail Them Out?

Heather Chaet

bordersBusiness news that may impact all of you book lovers: Borders, one of the largest chains of bookstores, is filing for bankruptcy. What does that mean? Well, about 200 of its stores will close.

Now, The Powers That Be at Amazon may be happy-dancing right now, but me? I'm sad and a little worried. I am a book lover, a bookworm, a voracious reader. We are a book family. I live and breathe Anna Quindlen's quote: "I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves." We have bookshelves in our bathroom, I kid you not.

In my neighborhood, I've seen about four small bookstores close up shop. The Barnes and Noble right by my house locked up for good in January. So, with the thought of more bookstores going by the wayside, I worry for the state of the book.

And when I'm worried, who else do I turn to but Oprah?

Of course, we can buy books online, but who hasn't gone into a bookstore looking for one book and ended up grabbing another two because the book jackets caught your eye? That just doesn't happen on

And when another book phenomena happens akin to Harry Potter, if all of the bookstores are closed, where will our kids go? Where will they head to, decked in costumes, anxiously awaiting the midnight release of the latest in that series?

But, Oprah, Queen of Almost Everything -- including book clubs -- can work magic. With one book selection, she can get millions of people to flock to a bookstore. That's what we need now -- we need a flocking, a stampede to Borders stores, to Barnes and Nobles locations, to other independent bookstores everywhere.

But, in case you haven't heard, Oprah's retiring. This year.

So, who else is there? Who will pick up that Book Club mantle and run with it? Who will help us save the bookstore? The fabu ladies of The View may be a good choice -- they could even pick five different ones for us to choose from. Ellen DeGeneres is another option. Oh, you know I love me some Nate Berkus (and he did get his start on Oprah).

But who do I think would really goose up enough people to make a difference? Michelle Obama. I know she's busy (understatement of the decade right there), but what could be better -- or bigger -- than a nationwide book club? Maybe Oprah would come out of retirement once or twice a year to moderate a special book club discussion?

Sounds to me like an "aha moment!"

Do you buy books online or in a bookstore?


Image via doortoriver/Flickr

Read More