Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight
to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"Everything is easy if somebody else is the one doing it." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Borders is Bankrupt

Borders filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

I'm betting, based on no evidence, that they'll end up in Chapter 7 and go completely out of business.

I'm sad that another bookstore operation is going under. But to some degree, Borders has only themselves to blame. I've gone in there to look at a book and have been told "we don't have it, but you can order it from our web site." As I have written before, that's an open invitation to lose a sale. Hell, Borders for years did its online sales through Amazon, which is kind of like a cow going into business with a steakhouse.

Moreover, if you get a Borders' "membership plus" card to get their discounts in the stores, you have to pay an annual fee. For $7 paperbacks, plan on buying at least thirty books a year in order to break even. That doesn't strike me as any great deal.

Borders says that they'll continue to honor their gift cards. If you still have one burning a hole in your wallet, I'd not count on that.

I have mixed feelings about the bankruptcy. The book superstores (along with Amazon) did a number on the small independents. The only independent bookstores that I know of now are some second-hand operations. Every town I ever lived in, up through the 1980s, had a bookstore. Now those stores are gone and I live in a populated county that does not have an independent bookstore and soon will not have one at all.

E-books may be the coming thing. But think of this: I own a copy of Creasy's book "Fifteen Decisive Battles" which was part of the "Aldine Illustrated Library of 100 Best Books" and which was one of my grandfather's books. The date of publication is not in the edition, my grandfather signed his name inside the flyleaf in 1901.

Will anyone pass down an e-book from one generation to the next? I doubt it.

UPDATE: The list of stores to be closed is in this PDF, beginning at PDF page 16.

3 comments:

BadTux said...

The thing about ebooks is that they don't take up space. That's going to be important in the future, as we live huddled 14 to the plantation bunkhouse bedroom when we're not servicing our lords and masters. Well, assuming that our lords and masters allow us electricity, anyhow.

I am slowly getting rid of the majority of my paper books because I will have no place to shelve them in the brave new world we, the American people, are making for ourselves with our ignorance and apathy... mobility is going to be key as the future falls apart, and tons of books (literally -- that's how many books I have) simply aren't very mobile.

- Badtux the Apocalyptic Penguin

Sarah said...

My neighborhood Borders is going. Too bad. I still used it, except for specialized web orders.

Comrade Misfit said...

Literate serfs will be threat to the lords and oligarchs, Badtux.