Posted by Caitie F on February 18, 2011
I am sure most of my readers know that Borders has filed for Chapter 11 and are closing over 200 stores. It isn’t surprising, since they have been on the brink of bankruptcy for years and we knew it was just a matter of time. That doesn’t mean it is not a sad occasion that will have repercussions in the book industry for years. Yes, we can hope they will come back, but it is doubtful. It really sucks in my area because our brand new Borders is closing. This store was beautiful, massive, and had a fantastic staff.
You can talk about how Borders killed independent book stores and lost some of the personal touches of buying books, but I would argue Amazon killed indies even more and I knew the staff members of my Borders and they were VERY knowledgeable and helpful. They were as excited about books as other booksellers at indies and were always looking for new things and how to help their loyal customers. We didn’t even have and indie bookstore in my area before Borders, it WAS our local bookstore.
But that is the past, let’s talk about the future. A lot of booksellers are going to be out of jobs. Smaller publishers may not be able to survive because Borders was their largest customer. Contracts will probably get worse for both publishers and authors because Barnes and Noble will have less competition. People lost their local bookstore, and now more will be going to Amazon for books, which is notorious for bullying publishers and authors.
This is a lose/lose/lose situation (customers, publishers, and authors). I hope they can get their stuff together. They did make mistakes and I am hoping they can fix them with their remaining store. The industry needs Borders to survive.