Borders Gets Back What They Gave

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Visit your local Borders bookstore today because come October 1, there will be no bookstore to see. The second largest bookstore chain in the country will officially close all its doors by the end of September. Sad as it is, they kind of had it coming.

It's the end of an era for many of us who spent hours browsing the bookstore giant. I grew up at my local independent bookstore, even won a night there as a child and read Gone With the Wind until the wee hours of the morning. I am a bookstore kind of girl, but Borders hurt those kinds of bookstores.

Did you ever see the movie You've Got Mail where Tom Hanks is an executive in a big corporate bookstore and he puts Meg Ryan's lovely independent shop out of business? It's not far from the truth.

For years, Borders put the independent book shops out of business. To some, this might not seem like a big deal. After all, who cares where the book comes from? Borders had a better selection and very often lower prices than the independent shops.

But what they lacked, they really lacked. Borders was a huge corporation without the personal touch. Independent bookstores become more than just places to buy some books. They're also community gathering spots. They host author readings, especially those of lesser known authors who wouldn't get the same play at a big corporate bookstore like Barnes & Noble or Borders.

It isn't that it isn't sad to see these giants fall in the wake of online ordering and e-books. Maybe I am just old, but I will never see my Kindle the same way I will see a book, all pristine and unopened. 

I worked at Borders in college, I was in the publishing industry in the years out of college, and no less than six floor-to-ceiling bookshelves are filled in my home top to bottom with books I have read. The demise of the paperback and hardback book breaks my heart. But seeing Borders go is less sad.

They have no room to complain that Amazon ate their business when they destroyed the bookshops that belonged to serious book lovers and staffed their stores with bored college students who made out with their boyfriends in the storeroom (or maybe that was just me).

As video stores and bookstores fade into oblivion, there is still hope for the independent shops where book lovers gather to do so much more than just buy books. Authors still need a space to read, and knitting circles, book groups, and writers still need places to gather. As long as that is true, there will be space for the bookstores owned by people who truly love books, not just the money they can make from them.

Does Borders closing make you sad?

 

Image via stevendamron/Flickr

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Lynette Lynette

I'm sad about this.  There is not another big bk store for 70+ miles from where I live. 

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

I'm not sad. Our local one was half a mile from B&N and in the same plaza and a large used book store. It was almost always totally dead. I don't think I ever purchased a book there, maybe the occasional coffee. Most of the time when I went in to one it was the one in downtown Boston because they had one of the few public bathrooms in the area. That one will be missed.

Ashleigh Munson

I liked Borders, more than Barnes and Noble. They had a way better selection, and I've had nothing but good dealings with the staff. 

mcmom... mcmommy03

Borders is the only new books store left in my little town. We have a book trader that's still hanging on for dear life.

nonmember avatar Amy c

I am extremely sad, not because I LOVE borders but because this is the only book store my community has...

mount... mountainmommy37

nope.  not sad.  We have great local bookstores with storytimes, weird books, all sorts of great couches....

nonmember avatar Kmw

I'm not sad about this. All the borders in our area have been closed for months. I prefer used bookstores, consignment stores & the like anyway. It seems that the big box stores aren't trying to sell books so much as they are shoving blatant toys and cartoon everything at anybody & everybody who walks in. I love used book stores!

nonmember avatar Bluesit

Borders "blew it" a long time ago. Their strategy was set in stone some time in the 90s and they never changed it. The last Borders I went to in 2010 looked exactly like their stores in 1996. The times called for innovation and imagination and Borders responded with corporate groupthink. Good riddance.

Lokis... LokisMama

This makes me really sad.  I kinda agree with Bluesit that they blew it a while ago though.  They just didn't adapt to the new technology quick enough and by the time they did, the niche was already filled by Barnes and Noble and Amazon.  :(


Borders is my favorite book store though and I"ll be sad to see it go.  E-readers are great, but I still perfer to have a hard copy of a book in my hands.

Kirsten Anthony

I am sad only because this was the only large new bookstore in my area. The local store shutdown this spring and there are only a couple used bookstores in the area between where I live and where Borders is. My kids loved going up there and buying their own books when they had saved up enough allowance. It will be missed.

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