Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Another Bookstore Bites the Dust

The last time I shopped at our local Borders
Over the weekend I went to our local used bookstore. After 20 years in the same location, they’re being forced to close. How depressing!

Many have remarked on how the publishing industry is changing. Some changes are wonderful and some… not so much. For me, the biggest change is how people are buying their books. Personally, I’m a huge fan of the Kindle, but I will never give up having paper books. Before the closing of Borders, I frequented at least one of five local bookstores about once a week on average. With the closing of the used bookstore, there’s now only one of those five left.

We’ve all discussed the whys of Borders' closing and ultimately how much it sucks for us book lovers. I’ve read several recent articles about how Amazon is shaking up the industry along with much speculation about what is coming next. At this point in the blog, I should offer some insight, but I find I have none to give. My only conclusion? I’m sad.

A Borders employee had this posted on their door. Yikes!
Sure, I like cashing in on book sales as much as the next person. Closing sales are huge! (My last Borders purchase was 8 books for $30. My used bookstore purchase was 11 books for $33.) But I would much rather forgo the sales and keep a couple more bookstores nearby.

I’m curious about how bookstores are doing in other areas. Compared to a year ago, how many remain open near you?


  1. It's so unfortunate when book stores close. :(

    I'm not sure about book stores in this area, but I wouldn't be surprised to go back home to the U.S. next year and find that the ones I used to frequent are now closed.

    1. It's a sad trend. I'm shocked how many have closed during the last year!

  2. This is sad. There has been a huge cultural shift in America toward electronic media, and sadly, I think that paper books will go the way of the newspaper and the pay phone.

    Americans can't resist convenience and lower prices. So for me I think it is only a matter of time.

    1. It's hard to argue with the convenience of electronic media, especially when ebooks tend to be cheaper than paper ones in general too. I really miss the bookstore setting though.

  3. The trend of bookstore closings is alarming. I had a Borders across the street from where I live--I could walk to it--and it closed last summer did another Borders at the mall about 4 miles from my house. I got tremendous book bargains in the clearance sales, but now I don't think we have any bookstores within at least 12 miles. Oh sure, there's still Walmart and Target, but selection is pretty limited.

    Amazon and other e-dealers have good deals and deliver quickly in most cases, but there's a real loss factor to just being able to spend an hour or more browsing with books in hand.

    Now here in L.A. they're talking about closing or cutting back some of the libraries. At least the ignorant masses will still have their television. I think the government would ultimately prefer that anyway.

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    1. I agree about the Walmart and Target selection. I'm glad I can get some books there, but since it's only the bestsellers, it's difficult to discover new authors.

      It's really unfortunate they're talking about closing or cutting back libraries in your area! While I can understand the economics behind having to close bookstores, I hate seeing libraries close. It sends the message that books and reading aren't worthwhile expenditures of taxpayer money, and I couldn't disagree with that more.

  4. It's the same in the UK. Just this month, my favourite independent book store closed after 35 years. I love reading on my iPad, and I love the ease with which I can download ebooks, but I also love browsing shelves and chatting to booksellers. It's very sad.

    1. There's something special about the atmosphere in a bookstore. I also love talking to booksellers and browsing the shelves. It's the easiest way to discover new authors and new book releases.

      I'm also sad to see these bookstore owners who've had their stores for so many years (35 - wow!) have to close.