Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Some Thoughts on Borders

I love books. As a young girl in the 1970's, I loved going to the city library. They had a wonderful selection of books from dinosaurs to the Hardy Boys. In the 1980's as a teenager and young adult, I grew to love spending time in a bookstore. There's nothing like the feel and scent of a new book. So it's with a heavy heart I say goodbye to Borders.

Borders was the #3 bookseller for books in the US, but it was losing money long before it declared bankruptcy. In my opinion, Borders failed because it didn't keep up with the times. While I think publishing models are currently in flux (with ebook and self-publishing taking off as viable publishing options) clinging to a traditional publishing model now will make it hard for authors and those houses to survive. You've got to change with the times.

In the 1990's bookstores consolidated and added "ambience" to their appeal. They offered DVDs, CDs and in house coffee shops along with a spot to plug in your laptop.

In the 2000's, technology took off. Amazon became a successful online retailer by offering a wide variety of products. With the introduction of Amazon's Kindle, ebook readers made ebooks fun to read.

Borders didn't jump on the ebook bandwagon soon enough. According to stats, print sales are dropping and ebook sales continually show high returns; the most popular genres being romance and mainstream.

What I'll miss is the ambience of hanging out with my friends and I'll miss the scent of new books.

What will you miss about Borders?


  1. Actually, they didn't survive due to bad management decisions. They opened far too many stores too close together and stretched too thin. And, they still gave their CEOs big bonuses while they were floundering. Ebooks alone wouldn't have hurt them; they were still making big money in many of their stores.

    What I will miss most: a bookstore close enough to just stop in and browse because we no longer have that. And my daughter will miss the job she absolutely loved.

  2. Loraine, I think you could argue a case that those bad managment decisions didn't keep up with the times, instead they chose to focus on opening too many stores and stretching themselves thin. They didn't look at trends to realize the ebooks were coming on strong. I agree, ebook would have helped them, not hurt them.

    You know, I love books and I know many who look books and hanging out in a bookstore. That will most definately be missed. Thanks for popping in.


  3. I've actually never been in one. But, if they're like B&N then the stuffed chairs and coffee smell is a great place to read and hang out. I'm sure they will be missed.
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