Yesterday Borders announced that it was filing for bankruptcy, which seems like a sad day for the plight of the bookstore. If I remember correctly, Borders started out as a little bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan -no wait it has a history of corporate take-over and merges. With the increasing ebook sales and this giant chain of bookstore suffering so much financially, people are asking themselves about the future of the book.
Oh no, my Borders is closing! What’s going to happen next? I see this as an opportunity for independent, local bookstores to shine. Honestly, people should try and support their local businesses before going to big-box chain stores like Borders or Barnes and Noble. Every time you buy your over-priced book from Borders, that’s money being taken away from your local economy. Every time you buy something from Amazon, that’s money not being reinvested on the local level. The interests of these giants are not really in the issues of the local town. You want to put a flyer for a local event? Maybe it’s against corporate policy to have non-approved items on display. The real concern about the implications of the failure of Borders was summed up in this Washington Post article “The fewer physical bookstores, the fewer physical books, the less real reading we’ll do.” Most likely, the indie bookstores are not going to have the e-readers and e-books and now those things can be conveniently downloaded, why would someone want to go anywhere else? That, I don’t have an answer for except to say “Go to the library!”
I’m not really trying to hate on Borders and sadly, I have to say that the city that I live in has NO independent bookstores that are worth browsing (that I have found). The best one we have is full of Friends of the Library book sale rejects, which is a shame. Many people here probably go to Borders or Barnes and Noble to buy books, or Amazon, so sometimes maybe there’s not much a choice. But if you have a choice and you absolutely have to buy the book, instead of checking it out for free at a library, then why would you not try to support your local bookstore?