Pub Writes

About the publishing Industry, editorials, and reviews

Borders

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.

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2 Responses to “Borders”

  1. Amanda said

    This Borders thing seems to be making quite a stir in the book blogging world. I must have just lived in the wrong places, because Borders where I live is awful. Horrible service, carries only the most popular titles (if those!), extremely overpriced (usually well over the list price), and the stores are so unorganized even the employees can’t find what you’re looking for. There are only a couple stores in the whole of the SA area and they aren’t very frequented. On the other hand, we have tons of B&Ns and Half Price Books and other bookstores. I was surprised to hear they aren’t closing any of the SA stores because I can’t imagine they’re very profitable. There’s never anyone in them, even in peak times like around Christmas.

    I’ve never lived in a place where Borders was a big thing in the book market. I lived in Houston when the first one went up there, but there was only one for the entire gigantic city and it was about 45 mins away from where I lived. In the places I lived in WI and IA, there were none at all. It’s really interesting to hear all these book bloggers talk about how sad it is that Borders is closing. For my own part, I’m completely neutral to it because the Borders I’ve been to don’t support small presses or have a wide selection or provide any competition to other bookstores…

  2. Doret said

    Thank you for this. Just because a bookseller works at a chain doesn’t mean they have no book knownledge. But that is almost always the assumption.

    My co-workers and I know a lot. We have many regular customers because of that. We would be able to hold our own against any indie sellers.

    Some may also think we are in it for the money. Please

    Though Amanda is right there are some not so great chain stores be it, Borders, B&N or Books Million. Luckily I don’t work at one of those store because I’d be just as frustrated as the customers.

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