Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Borders Bookstores Closing - a sad day for all fans of books

I suppose it was inevitable considering all their troubles, but it's still sad to see the reality posted in the news: Borders bookstores to liquidate as early as Friday. The article I linked has more of a local angle, since Borders started as a smaller-scale independent in Ann Arbor, Mich. I'm originally from Michigan, and I think this touches me not just because the books aspect, but as another Michigan company going out of business in their struggling economy. There's been so much loss of industry in Michigan; a lot of my friends and some family have moved out of state for jobs over the past 10 years because of it.

I'm sure I'll contribute to the sales in Border's final weeks. I'll pick up some of the books on my list I know I want to own rather than to buy digital. I already began my shift away from Borders this year by purchasing more books through my independent store and through Barnes & Noble for my Nook reader. Still, I liked that Borders was easily accessible and they always had those coupons...

Will Borders closing affect your ability to buy books? Or, had you already moved on from chain retailers to buy via Amazon or other means?


  1. I live in Michigan, and I don't think I've ever bought anything at a Borders. But I live in Grand Rapids and I don't think they have any stores here. Schuler Books is the big independent store in Grand Rapids.

    Off the top of my head I think the last few years my book buying has been somewhat like:

    40% Kindle
    30% New books from Amazon
    20% Used from a handful of used bookstores in Grand Rapids and Chicago.
    10% New books from Schuler

    The driving factor here is convenience and price. Kindle is the most convenient, and often the cheapest. Amazon is much cheaper than Schuler which has the advantage of being able to browse the shelves and get books immediately. Used bookstores are cheap, but not convenient. (In college I bought a lot of my books from Half.com, which I may revisit soon.)

    Case study: A Dance with Dragons, the new Song of Ice and Fire book, came out last week. I bought it on the Kindle for $14.99. Which is more than I like to pay for an eBook but my other options were $18.81 (with free shipping) for the hardcover from Amazon or $35.00 from Schuler (they charge the cover price). Or, of course, wait for the paperback. I can't see paying $16.19 more than Amazon just to support a local business.

    Bookstores are the new weavers (or blacksmiths, or wheelwrights, etc.)

  2. It's sad that the end of a chain goes just like that. I know it had been a while but it felt so quick didn't it.

    Boo for Borders... Such a sad day.

  3. Pete: I shopped at Borders with their coupons - 25- 40% off retail, and they frequently had new hardcovers at 40% off, which I don't buy too often, but have when the price is right. I usually buy from the independent store when I'm going to an in-store event. The events are free but they encourage you to buy a book & then you can get it signed. I don't mind paying extra for it.

    I used to use half.com too, forgot it was still around!

  4. I am super sad bc Borders' employees rule and I am sad for them. I hope it means my little local indie will thrive more bc Borders won't take away their business any longer. But so many layoffs. Big suck.

  5. I haven't been in a Borders many times in my life, so I didn't hang with friends in them or anything. No warm fuzzies lost here. I'm more a fan of dusty, disorganized used bookstores run by hoarders. :)

  6. I love used bookstores, too. I've even picked up books at Goodwill, although the selection is usually... interesting.


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