Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Demise of Bookstores

I recently read this column by author Mitch Albom (of Tuesdays with Morrie fame) about the downfall of Borders as a symbol of the challenges facing all bookstores.

I enjoyed his column and found it interesting.  We often hear writers and readers bemoaning the decline of independent bookstores, so I found it intriguing to hear Albom apply many of these same laments to Borders' bankruptcy and on-going difficulties.  I know that Borders is sometimes considered an evil "big box" store - on a par with all the other huge conglomerates now clogging America's suburbs - but I have to admit that, like Albom, I have a soft spot in my heart for Borders.  I loved his descriptions in this essay about the joys of exploring the big bookstores, and I agree. 

I love going to Borders and for some reason have always preferred it to Barnes & Noble (though I did mostly shop at a local, independent bookstore for the few years we had one in our town).  I was hoping that the bankruptcy proceedings would save the chain, but I guess it's not looking good.

Even though I get many of my books through the library - I just can't afford to buy all the books I read! - I will continue to buy books as gifts, at Borders while it's there or at an independent bookstore that's a bit of a longer drive from here.  What will happen in the future?  I can't even imagine a world without bookstores to roam and browse through. 


  1. I feel like such a traitor, because I love my e-reader and I love libraries. But I love bookstores, too, and want them around!

  2. I feel bad when any book store or chain for that matter closes for financial reasons. I am guilty of doing more browsing than buying at Borders sadly.

  3. "But the world has changed. The printed word is gasping. A symphony doesn't play anymore when you pull open a Borders door. And soon, sadly, the doors may not be there, either."-Albom

    I am so afraid that the music will end and we'll all find out what kind of world we have without books. Argh.

    Enter my giveaway contest. The first question is about the death of Borders.