Demise of Borders isn't a cool thing

The liquidation of Borders was even noted Monday night by Inkwood Books owner Carla Jimenez as she introduced Inside Scientology author Janet Reitman at a book reading. Though surely there were many Inkwood fans who would order a book from the South Tampa independent store, invariably some of those folks were ordering books they discovered through walking through the aisles of Borders (or Barnes & Noble, for that matter).

There is the explosion of e-books and e-readers, a fact that no doubt has been one result in Barnes & Noble's continuing viability with their Nook e-reader.

As the Wall Street Journal reports:

Today's Barnes & Noble depends on its bookstores to introduce customers to its Nook e-readers, but its growth and future profits hinge on outfoxing and outselling deep-pocketed rivals Inc., Apple Inc. and Google Inc. on the digital-books front. Amazon, for example, last month disclosed that mystery writer Michael Connelly is the seventh writer to sell more than one million Kindle books.

"It's a balancing act, because bookstores are needed to generate excitement even though the final transaction may be digital," says Lorraine Shanley, a partner at industry-consultants Market Partners International Inc. "All the big-box retailers, including Wal-Mart, are facing the same issues.

Recently the NY Times wrote that some independent book stores across the country have begun charging for book author readings, because many of those who come to get a book signed already purchased it on Amazon.

So, for those of us who have always loved book stores, even just indie ones, Borders demise is a big deal. Not only have I felt the loss of the Borders in South Tampa over the past half year, but will truly mourn the loss of the giant superstore located just off of Union Square in San Francisco, where I essentially have done all my Christmas shopping over the past decade.

So long Borders. And thanks for all the fun you provided.

Stories on NPR and in the Wall Street Journal are juxtaposing the closing of America's second largest bookstore chain for good - Borders - with their big box rival for so many years - Barnes & Noble - and why the latter has survived the "Amazonation" of the industry.

Tom and Louis Borders created Borders 40 years ago in Ann Arbor, Michigan. And though the company definitely had troubles over the years, it was still rather shocking this past February when the company filed for bankruptcy protection and closed numerous stores, including its store on Dale Mabry in Tampa, for years a popular destination.

Though it's a fact that three digital books are purchased to every physical book, no one can deny that even though it was a major chain, there is something being lost in the culture with the remaining 399 stores closing for good by the end of September. That and the fact that almost 11,000 jobs will also be without a job is just another kicker.

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