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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thoughts on the Fall of Borders

News that Borders is closing down is no surprise to me.  Anyone who follows the bookseller's industry could have suspected it even long before they began shedding stores a while back in order to try and stop the bleeding. The fact that Borders has not had a profitable year since 2006 is probably due to a variety of factors including but not limited to the current economic climate, a business model that was well behind the e-book curve and competitors that were successfully bleeding their profit share. 

If I'm not surprised I can still be sad. My family and I enjoyed occasional trips to Borders - usually to check out their bargain book tables. I've done a reading or two at Borders in Northland. I'm sad too for the some 12,000 employees that will be without a job as a result.

Some people will argue that this is a sign of the demise of traditional books in our culture. For many who like browsing in a bookstore to ordering online this may have a silver lining. It could be that the loss of Borders may leave a small opening for smaller independent neighborhood bookstores.

I don't deny that I have also been a frequent Amazon customer. They are relatively fast in shipping to me.  Barnes & Nobel and Borders generally don't have new poetry releases when I want them.B & N has had a dwindling inventory altogether.  What I did like about Borders is they did have some more specialty type  titles the B & N ever did.

If the price of shares in Amazon.com is any indication of their health, they are doing quite well. I'm sure their decision and marketing of the Kindle has been a part of their success.  I remain more interested in traditional books. For now, they still meet that need.
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