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Feeling Nostalgic? The archives > Borders going bankrupt...

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message 1: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Borders is going bankrupt, closing about a third of their stores...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41536256/...

Comments? Implications?


message 2: by Stina (last edited Mar 04, 2011 03:42PM) (new)

Stina (stinalee) | 750 comments I haven't shopped at Borders in just about a year. The prices were high and the in-store inventory (at my local store) was really low. It irritated me to NO END that if you needed a book that they didn't have in stock, they invited you over to a computer where you could enter in your credit card and have it shipped to your house. You couldn't even order it into the STORE anymore! If I wanted a book sent straight to my house (and I often do), I would have just hopped on amazon and bought a used copy that cost ten dollars less than Borders was charging!

However, I do hate that there will be 200 big empty stores and that the people who worked there (and who are lucky enough to work at a bookstore) will have to find new jobs.


message 3: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments All the Borders near me are closing:

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/busines...

I didn't go there much, and I agree with Kristina's criticisms about inventory, but I'll miss stopping sometimes on my way home from work to walk the aisles.


message 4: by Jim (new)

Jim | 6485 comments The one closest to me is staying open, the one on the other side of Madison is closing.


message 5: by Jim (new)

Jim | 6485 comments Barb wrote: "We don't have Borders here, so I'm indifferent."

you are in different what?


message 6: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments They & B & N drove all the great little bookstores out of business, but they weren't able to adapt the way B & N did to compete with Amazon and cope with e-books.

I haven't bought anything at one in years. I will say that they were always much friendlier than Barnes & Noble in terms of stocking local CDs, and letting me do in-stores when I had new music out. I've played at Borders stores from Albany to Georgia.


message 7: by Suefly (last edited Feb 16, 2011 10:27AM) (new)

Suefly | 620 comments I worked for Borders for three years as a lower level manager until I was laid off. Overall, the company was mismanaged and ill equipted to handle the demands of the 21 century consumer. It was too bad, and I feel for those who will be laid off. Borders is not a library,yet it's run as one. No one has issues with a Target expecting to make a profit,
yet the mentality at Borders was that books are meant to be celebrated and shared, but not bought. I love books, but I was there to work and support myself. The upper management let us all down by failing to train us, stock us and maintain a working knowledge understanding of market trends.

I don't mean to be cold, but retail is retail and for me, it's how I supported myself, as did thousands of others. Those who were in charge ran a decent company into the ground and will walk away as if nothing happened.


message 8: by Jim (new)

Jim | 6485 comments Barb wrote: "country."

yes you is.


message 9: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments So Barb is indifferent because she is indifferent country. There are no Borders once you cross the border. Only Indigo, where they sell everything but books.


message 10: by Helena (new)

Helena | 1058 comments Suefly wrote: "I worked for Borders for three years as a lower level manager until I was laid off. Overall, the company was mismanaged and ill equipted to handle the demands of the 21 century consumer. It was too..."

I kind of like the idea that books are meant to be celebrated and shared- it’s refreshing for a retailer to have that kind of attitude. Having said that, you are right- that kind of attitude doesn’t put food on the table or keep people in jobs. Sad really.

I live in Canada, but I’m close to the US and there’s a Borders that I shop at on occasion- it looks like it’s staying open. I shop for books online more often than not. With each book store closure, I feel pressure to run out and buy books before they all disappear and ereaders take over.


message 11: by Jammies (new)

Jammies I haven't shopped at Borders for years because of their affiliation with Amazon, but I agree that it's a pity all of those employees will be out of jobs and that no doubt the top management will walk away with fat bonuses.


message 12: by Jim (new)

Jim | 6485 comments I don't think that Borders and Amazon have been affiliated for a couple of years now.

I agree Helena about grabbing all the books while you can. ereaders will have a majority of the market soon enough.


message 13: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments It makes me very nervous to see how limited the choices for in-person book purchasing are these days. If the only places to buy books are Wal-mart and airports then we really will see some even more scary changes in publishing.

There's an indie bookstore near here that is doing quite well for itself. They have new and used books, offer free coffee and tea, and have in-store writing groups, board game clubs, open mics, etc. I think it's a good example of embracing all of the possibilities inherent in brick-and-mortar.


message 14: by Jim (new)

Jim | 6485 comments Sarah Pi wrote: "It makes me very nervous to see how limited the choices for in-person book purchasing are these days. If the only places to buy books are Wal-mart and airports then we really will see some even mor..."

It will all be about product placement when it comes to this Sarah.


message 15: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca White (rebecca_white) | 1028 comments We had a local independent chain (2 stores) that was bought by Borders some years ago. If all the ones they're closing are superstores, that means that the one they added will be closing and the other two stay. The basic difference I noticed when they got bought was that a lot more shelf space was turned over to gift items. Bookwise, they're still pretty good.


message 16: by Helena (new)

Helena | 1058 comments Sarah Pi wrote: "It makes me very nervous to see how limited the choices for in-person book purchasing are these days. If the only places to buy books are Wal-mart and airports then we really will see some even mor..."

I had a great book shop/cafe like that nearby, I shopped there often and found some amazing little gems. Unfortunately, they closed a couple of years ago. I can’t imagine only shopping for books at Walmart & airports. Dismal.


message 17: by [ A ] (last edited Feb 16, 2011 11:07AM) (new)

[ A ] I am really, really disappointed and sad. :( Sure, it's a big box store that everyone seems to hate, but whenever I went into Borders (even when I worked there) the environment was always more "bookish". The people who shopped there loved books, and the people who worked there loved books. Borders was my favorite place to shop for books (I don't care for B&N and won't be giving them my business).

Both Borders stores near me are closing, one already closed in January. Now the only option is B&N, and both of those are over 20-25 minute drives in either direction for me. Who knew that living in Southern California would keep me from shopping at bookstores. :(

Very sad over here.


message 18: by Brittomart (last edited Feb 16, 2011 11:30AM) (new)

Brittomart If I'm in a store like B&N, BAM!, or Borders, and I see some books that I want, I'll write down titles and order them from Amazon. Or try to find them on Goodreads swap.


message 19: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Lopez | 4728 comments I tend to buy online too, Britt. It's easier to compare prices or to find used copies of what you're looking for. I really have no great fondness for Borders or B&N (which is my local book "superstore"), but there is definitely something sad about so many people being put out of work and so many outlets for books disappearing. Maybe bricks-and-mortar bookstores will just end up like record stores, mostly a thing of the past except for a few specialty shops.


message 20: by Ben (last edited Feb 16, 2011 11:57AM) (new)

Ben How much do you think this has to do with e-readers? Are book sales down because of them? I assume they are.


message 21: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments I'm pretty sure e-book sales have surpassed print book sales. Borders is notorious for having fallen behind in the internet war over books, even before e-readers, but they've also been slow on this front.


message 22: by Jonathan (last edited Feb 16, 2011 12:09PM) (new)

Jonathan Lopez | 4728 comments I don't know the exact impact in terms of overall sales, but I would imagine that e-books are making it less feasible/attractive to maintain bricks-and-mortar bookstores. Two years ago, e-books were still an afterthought; now they're outselling hardcovers on Amazon. I still buy traditional books but will probably switch over to e-books at some point, once I figure out which reader seems best.


message 23: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments Yeah, I can appreciate the utility of an ereader, but I like the feel of a book and I'm not ready to give them up. Also, I really don't buy all that many new books, so I feel like it would force me to spend money I don't currently spend.


message 24: by Michael (new)

Michael I hate to see any bookstore close but it doesn't feel as bad when it's a chain as opposed to an indie store. I'm not a fan of Borders but I like that they e-mail 40% & 50% off coupons. The two stores near me are closing so I probably won't be using them as much now.


message 25: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments Barb wrote: "Hey maybe all the giants will tumble, and open the market back up for small independant stores! Wouldn't that be nice?"

That would be great, but I have no faith that it works that way :(


message 26: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments i'm glad i can still choose from a variety bookstores, whether i'm looking for a used or new book, or want to go to a smaller or bigger store - and two excellent record stores too (apart from the many record stores that only sell popular music).


message 27: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Lopez | 4728 comments The Netherlands does have really great bookstores. The Dutch buy many more books than we do, per capita, so they can support a wider variety of stores. It's nice.


message 28: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments I would really like somebody to take me to a good bookstore in South Africa, but my family there are not readers, so every time I ask to go to a bookstore they take me to the one in the mall. I haven't seen any evidence that non-chain bookstores exist there, but I'd very much like to see one.


message 29: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11665 comments Before our B&N opened up two years ago, the only options in town were specialty mormon shops. Sadly, the local populace are not big readers. I sure hope the B&N holds out for a good, long time. I'm a little scared because when I went in last week their selection seemed more limited than in the past.

I have a couple of Borders gift certificates to use -- I'd better do it soon. I like that they offer a lot of e-books in ePub format.


message 30: by Aynge (last edited Feb 18, 2011 03:41PM) (new)

Aynge (ayngemac) | 1202 comments I'm surprised they lasted this long. I like Borders, but they just didn't have a good selection and the prices were way too high.

Half of what I bought there I had to special order.


message 31: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24261 comments Mod
It pains me to see people losing their jobs, but I hardly patronized Borders at all so it's not much of a loss for me personally. 99.99% of my books I buy used. I did go into one that was closing and buy the new Elizabeth George paperback (20% off) and some notecards (1/2 price). I agree they didn't have a large enough selection. It seemed like their fiction and literature section was constantly shrinking, being encroached on by greeting cards and gewgaws.


message 32: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca White (rebecca_white) | 1028 comments So I heard on the radio that they are closing the two big stores (I didn't even know there was one downtown). It is too bad because the one I do go to is the best. It's the smaller ones that aren't that good. So it seems to me that maybe a better decision would be to close the smaller ones.


message 33: by Jaye (new)

Jaye  | 126 comments There are quite a few independent bookstores on Cape Cod (Massachusetts). I'm sure they will be doing much better with the closing of Borders in Hyannis. The tourists always seem to be in the bookstores on the Cape anyway.
The Borders nearer to me in Wareham was only open for a short time - probably under 2 years in a new "plaza". I went in there a few times but, to tell the truth, it was very "industrial" feeling with bad lighting which translated to depressing. It just didn't inspire me to spend money there. Even at Christmas time it was lacking any festiveness. They needed to take a lesson from Target with lighting issues. Target has that covered - making everything look colorful - they must have consumer-friendly lighting fixtures. When I was in Borders I felt like I was in a black and gray world.
I'm sorry many people are going to be losing their jobs - southern Massachusetts has a huge problem with unemployment as it is.
Recently, a big food chain, Shaw's , went the same way with closing stores. Who says the economy is getting better? I don't see it in evidence.


message 34: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Depends on where you are, Jaye.


message 35: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Michael wrote: "I hate to see any bookstore close but it doesn't feel as bad when it's a chain as opposed to an indie store. I'm not a fan of Borders but I like that they e-mail 40% & 50% off coupons. The two stor..."

Yes, me too, Michael. I don't think I bought anything from Borders that wasn't at least 40% off.


message 36: by Jim (new)

Jim | 6485 comments I always waited to get a coupon before I bought books at Borders as well.


message 37: by Michele (new)

Michele bookloverforever (lovebooks14) | 1970 comments e books are taking over. a physical book with covers and pages will become antiques. god help us if there is ever an emp. I will miss browsing in the bookstore and talking to other customers and salesclerks and just smelling the books. How will I buy a used book then? There was a scene in one of the Star Trek movies where Spock gave Kirk an actual book which was an antique and antiquated. How will you pass on a library? Even my local library has an increasing number of e books which you can only download on a NOOK...I'll miss holding a book, smelling it. I am a very tactile person. sad. very sad. but things change and the world will go on but we are in on the passing of an age. I wonder what the scriptoriums thought of Herr Guttenberg?


message 38: by Jim (new)

Jim | 6485 comments They had a report on the news last night that last year ebooks accounted for 9% of book sales last year, but it is anticipated that in three years time they will account for over 50%.


message 39: by Michael (new)

Michael Michele wrote: "e books are taking over."

CBS News just ran a story on Borders and they talked about e-books.

"Every time somebody buys a Kindle or a Nook or a Sony Reader or whatever, it's just another nail in the coffin of independent bookshops, including mine." - Otto Penzler


message 40: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments Michael wrote: ""Every time somebody buys a Kindle or a Nook or a Sony Reader or whatever, it's just another nail in the coffin of independent bookshops, including mine." - Otto Penzler "

Isn't there a more useful way to think about this? I mean, the same could be said for buying books at Costco or Wal-mart instead of at a bookstore. Instead of saying "woe is me", couldn't they examine the reasons somebody might want to go to a real bookshop?
The successful ones around here are the ones that have groups and signings and musical events and all the things that one can't get from an e-reader or an online store.
And you can barely walk through the crowds at the book festivals in DC and Baltimore. There's still book culture, and there are still books and buyers. They just have to work harder to lure them.


message 41: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24261 comments Mod
Right, Sarah Pi. Seems like I'm always hearing about how Politics & Prose in D.C. is flourishing.

On another note, what is it with all the people into booksmelling? I've never known a book to have a really delicious smell, like a new car. Occasionally I've smelled a bad one at the library. But I don't seek out books for their odors.


message 42: by Michele (new)

Michele bookloverforever (lovebooks14) | 1970 comments new pages, glue, book covers...subtle but there.


message 43: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments the smell isn't supposed to be delicious. sometimes it's a bit dusty even, but it's always undeniably bookish.


message 44: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24261 comments Mod
Everything is 50% off at the Borders today. I didn't go in.


message 45: by Natalie (new)

Natalie (aquariusnat) "Sigh" Another Michigan company on the skids . Congress better stop BSing about the economy , too much is at stake !


message 46: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Don't count on it Natalie.


message 47: by Michael (new)

Michael Lobstergirl wrote: "On another note, what is it with all the people into booksmelling?"

I smell books all the time to make sure they don't have that bad musty smell.


message 48: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments My son and I went to Borders this morning because everything was 20 to 40 percent off. The place was packed.


message 49: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24261 comments Mod
Michael wrote: "Lobstergirl wrote: "On another note, what is it with all the people into booksmelling?"

I smell books all the time to make sure they don't have that bad musty smell."


That's a good reason for sniffing.


message 50: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24261 comments Mod
Borders was 60% off today. I got 9 books for $54. I saved $77.33!


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