As I’m reading news about Borders closing, I find myself feeling … sad.
That’s it. I’m sad.
Thousands of people are going to lose their jobs. Many small and medium sized towns will lose the only bookstore they have. Whatever feelings I may have about traditional publishing models, legacy publishing, and big box bookstores, this is a loss.
I know when Borders opened a store in the town where I went to high school, it was a huge deal. There was a cafe that served fancy coffee. Kids with spiked hair and piercings and nerds finally had a “cool” place to hang out. (This was before Starbucks was everywhere, people. Think back. I’m kind of old.) For a small town, a store like Borders was a big deal.
At the same time, I think this was inevitable. Big stores like Borders cannot compete with the prices of Amazon, nor do they have the appeal of smaller, more quirky, independent bookstores. More and more people will move to e-readers and the mass market paperback novel will (I believe) eventually die.
No, I don’t think books are dying. I’ve said before, though, that the appeal of paperback novels lay in their portability and economy, both of which are surpassed by electronic readers which drop in price every year.
So, Borders’ closure does not surprise me. I’m not a publishing expert in any way, but I am a consumer and an avid reader, and I rarely go to bookstores except with my small son.
Now is not a time for gloating. I wish all of their employees the best of luck.
Thanks for reading,