Monday, February 28, 2011

Borders

Unless you've been living under a writing rock (which, for the record, I have), you've heard about Borders filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. I worked at a local publisher a few years ago and Borders was on the verge of bankruptcy back then, so I wasn't surprised when I heard the news. I was saddened, as I always am, about another blow to the publishing industry, but I think most professionals in the industry saw the writing on the wall long ago.

I found myself near a Borders this weekend as I was out shopping and decided to stop in and see if they had any good deals. To be honest I haven't shopped at a brick and mortar store for years because of the competitive prices on sites like Amazon, but I was right there. The discounts were still fairly low - 20-30% - so I didn't expect much movement at that point. Boy was I wrong. The store was like a madhouse, books strewn about and laying on the floor and unalphabetized (I take my alphabetization VERY seriously). I found sports books in the middle grade section, DVDs in Science Fiction/Fantasy, and random merchandise all over the shelves. I wandered up to the YA section for research purposes and was at first delighted to see so many books of blogs that I've been following for months now. It was almost like meeting up with new friends.

Which is why I think it hit me so emotionally to see the books so mistreated. I mean, don't get me wrong, no one was ripping out pages with their teeth or anything. It was just that everything was in such disarray, it was like seeing my friends disrespected. Having been on this journey for two years now, I know the time and energy and passion and long nights that go into every single book on those shelves, and to see them treated like bits of shiny paper at a cat convention was hard for me. I actually ended up leaving the store without buying anything because I was so upset. It was, in a way, heartbreaking for me to see the physicality of the decline.

How do you feel about Borders' announcement and the shifting landscape of the book market?

6 comments:

Solvang Sherrie said...

You're not the first person to say they were horrified when they entered a Border's recently. I'm not sure what madness seems to take over a store closing, but as much as I'd like the deals, I think the chaos would be too much for my fragile psyche :P

Lydia K said...

The idea of a bookstore closing makes me sad. I have a lot of mixed feeling about the changing publishing environment and I still very much love my paper books, so yeah. Sad!

Christina Lee said...

OMG that would have felt so strange! Mine isn't closing so I will still shop in that YA section!

Nick Thomas said...

Haven't we had a "Borders" problem in the US for a while now ? :)

Libby said...

My Borders (meaning the one in my neighborhood) is good and organized but most people just go there for coffee. Sad.

CATHY CHAPATY said...

One holiday season, I worked for a Borders as a temp. Besides one summer working at the San Antonio Zoo, it was my favorite temp job ever. I am saddened, and I agree that most readers have no clue how much work goes into writing, editing, designing, printing, distributing, and marketing JUST ONE BOOK. Sad, indeed.... :((