Monday, July 18, 2011

Borders, All remaining stores to close.

According to Yahoo Finance, All remaining Borders stores to begin closing, some as soon as Friday.

I have to say that this saddens me. I do try and buy books from both Brick & Mortar stores, as well as Local Stores. I don't read E-Books, I rarely check books out of the library. The only reason I turn to Amazon is purchase stuff that is out of print, or CD's/Movie's since nearly every dedicated store to them is gone, many before Amazon ever got as ubiquitous as it has become.

I enjoy book stores. I like the dingy second hand ones equally to the well let mega store. I don't enjoy book stores that don't seem to ever update their stock. Something I feel Borders, more than Barnes & Noble is guilty of. Borders tried repeatedly to diversify their stores. Adding in Toy Sections and Stationary. Gift Wrap Stations. All this did was subtract space from what they are. A Book shop. It's the same thing Books-A-Million did in the late 90's.

I remember when my local Borders first opened. It's not really "local" to me in the proper sense of the word.. in the Geographic sense of scale it is. I can get to two borders stores in less than 45 minutes travel, 4 in less than an hour. I can't walk to them, but I'm luckier than many. It was the place to hang out for us nerds and geeks in school. Walden Books in the mall was too tiny. Books-A-Million didn't have a cafe. There was no Barnes&Nobel. It was at least a bi-weekly ritual.

I appreciate the willingness of the big box bookstores to allow people do loiter. Sometimes for the entire business day, without ever requiring you to buy anything. Sure, Libraries will do this.. but you can't have a conversation in a library. Its against the rules. I can't tell you how many times I've conversed with people in book stores. The English Second Language Teacher on vacation from Taiwan, looking for a good long read for the plane ride back. Helping out the countless numbers of people who have mechanically been steered towards Robert Jordan or Terry Goodkind by the hapless store employees.

Speaking of, Borders has nearly 11,000 employees. They will soon be added to the nations seemingly intractable unemployment problem. So really its them I feel the worst for. As some one who will soon be out of a job, I sympathize entirely. 6-7 years ago when I worked full time I spent hundreds of dollars a year on new books. As my finances have deteriorated I've bought more and more books second hand. It's like ripples on a pond. I wasn't the pebble, but I got caught up in its wake and thus played my unwilling part in adding to the violence of the distortion.

1 comment:

christian said...

11,000 lives slowly circling the drain. What a damn mess our country is in. I really lack the words to articulate my disgust and sadness.