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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 big by 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


Na said...

There are no Borders in Canada but I was still sad when I heard it was closing down its doors. Not filing bankruptcy, not merging with another company but closing down. I love books, print more than digital. I love the experience of walking into a bookstore, browsing and discovering a new book/author just like that, no prior reviews or recommendations to guide me. The big bookstore here is Chapters and I know if it ever closed its doors I'd be sad. I like options. I'm not adverse to ebooks though and I have been buying them especially when there's a good deal and a print form isn't available. Mostly they are in my TBR pile until I do get an ereader. I'm planning to get one soon but haven't taken the leap yet. It looks like Amazon will be the main place I go for ebooks, second is the Kobo store at Chapters.

katsrus said...

I get a lot of my books used or from Amazon or Walmart/Target. I hated seeing them close too cause they did have some things other didn't. But; I agree they were expensive and so it Barnes and Noble. And they are not close to my home so maybe once or twice a year I look. I do have an ereader now(Kindle)and I am finding I love it more than I thought I would. So I am going more with ebooks. Which I never thought I would. I always liked holding an actual book in my hand. And there is still nothing like an autographed book personelized from an author to me.
Sue B

Anna said...

I agree. I'm sad it's closing but the only time I could shop there was using the discount coupons. Most of the books I wanted cost a lot.

Toni said...

It is always sad when such a large employer goes out of business, especially after such a long history.


Mara said...

Borders closing is also a sign of our still f'ed economy. I don;t think it's just one cause. One of the first B & N on the Upper West Side in NYC closed last year, but there's another one about 20 blocks away.I live right in the middle.
I used to love to go there to browse for books, but I'm still loyal as I bought a nook over the other choices based on number of ebooks avaliable on their website and I don;t like I still can't figure out why, but I have found the nook to be more flexible and able to download more types of books - I mean almost everything is available in .pdf.
Self-publishing and the advent of small ebook publishers have made it possible to find authors I never would have seen and who may never had gotten published in the first place!
RIP Borders.

marajbrandon AT earthlink DOT net

Anonymous said...

My closest book store is Borders. They are helpful and friendly. I can't say the same for my B&N. I will probably buy from the indie book store that is far away or buy from Amazon. I buy eBooks from several online sites.

User1123 AT comcast DOT net

Robin said...

I've been getting good deals on ebooks for kindle on amazon. I am sad Borders is closing but couldn't afford to pay full price for books, I was going to used bookstores before there were other options!

Robin D
robindpdx (at) yahoo (dot) com