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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Did We Close Borders?

Border’s bookstore, a huge-mega-chain is closing all its stores, leaving only Barnes and Noble and a number of scattered independent bookstores to battle it out. And even Barnes and Noble has been having profit problems lately. But why? There seems to be room for Macy’s and Nordstrom and Lord and Taylor and they can coexist with Sears, Kohls, BonTon, etc., although sometimes the fighting does get a little rough. Why not Barnes and Noble and Borders?

So what has caused all this destruction in just a few short years? Sure, Border’s critics cite the fact that they opened too many locations, had too much debt, over-invested in music sales, sold off their e-book business to Amazon and got into their own e-reader business too late.

But what if there had been no surge of e-books—nearly a million now available on Kindle—written by you and me? What if there had been no new and vital e-presses opening up their doors to new authors? What if great new e-readers like Kindles and Nooks and Libre’s had never been invented? What if we’d never heard about e-book authors like JA Konrath and Amanda Hocking who’d thrown caution to the wind and made it by big self-publishing? Would Border’s closing have happened? I doubt it.

Plus Borders books were expensive. Who wants to pay $28 for a book when you can get one just as good, if not better, at $.99 or $2.99? And even big name authors are seeing the wisdom of self-publishing. Midlist authors have been set adrift by publishing houses and forced to do their own publicity as well. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed shopping at Borders and buying the occasional book with the forty percent off coupon for a book I couldn’t find anywhere else. But more often, I made up a wish list and took it to Half Price Books or to find a better deal. I guess I wasn’t alone.

They always say out of bad things, good things come—cheaper prices, more variety, and more opportunities for millions of writers and readers alike. And one other good thing, I have a Libre e-reader, compatible only with a Borders bookstore app. I just found out I can download and purchase new e-books for my reader by going to the website and downloading their app. Thank goodness for e-books!

Where will you go to buy your books and e-books now?

Alison Chambers
The Secret Sentinel available from
5 Stars
The Montezuma Secret available form and Smashwords
5 Stars


booklover0226 said...

I was at Borders today! I bought many books but it was also very sad, knowing I would no longer spend hours browsing and shopping for books.

I usually buy my ebooks directly from the publisher, even the smaller, lesser known ones. Everyone needs support, IMO!

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Na said...

I think this may be a duplicate post - I responded to this same one earlier. I have to add though, since I like to think positive, I wish I could check out its closing sale. I love books but what I love more is getting deals on books!

Toni said...

I haven't set foot in a Borders in over 10 years. It was more because there are none where I live. I don't even have a B&N nearby. I do have Hastings, but they really don't compare to the above bookstores in grandness. I have been buying my books via ebay (looking for a 20+ book set), Hastings and Amazon. I really fell in love with my ereader and you can't beat the instant books. I live 35 miles away from my nearest bookstore.


Anonymous said...

I love my Borders. I'm sorry to see my friends there go. I will probably buy everything online now.

User1123 AT comcast DOT net

JohnF said...

No, Borders wounds are self inflicted. While I use an e-reader, I will always want a print book in my hand, and I'll find them in all the small out of the way bookstores that still dot the landscape. Don't forget to support them...they've outlasted Borders, and they deserve our support!