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Don’t Let The Door Hit You On The Way Out, Borders.

Posted by on February 19, 2011 at 1:14 pm

The dust has semi-settled since news of Borders financial troubles and probable demise. And as a result, Borders will be closing 200 of it’s superstores starting this weekend. To give you an idea of the scale of closures, 5 out of 18 stores will be the only operating Borders in the state of Arizona. Are we witnessing the imminent death of the book store?

People seem to be shocked and almost saddened about Wednesdays news. Can you remember the last time you purchased an item from Borders? With local libraries that’ll give you a book as soon as look at you, little mom and pop hipster driven book trading bazaars and the rise of online e-reader stores, we don’t really need these giant brick and mortar corporations for books anymore.

I’m more surprised Borders didn’t filed for bankruptcy earlier. With their prices of books, music and DVD’s the only reason a person would purchase an item from them would be out of pure desperation. Maybe they aren’t well educated in froogle shopping. Maybe they only buy items at Borders just because they can. Maybe someone is stuck on their deathbed and has a hankering to watch “Taintlight” one last time. Ok, that’s not a realistic situation because no one wants to see “Taintlight” again. That is assuming they even saw it for the first time; which in that case, God bless their poor soul.

Lavar loves books and “Taintlight”

Borders and B&N, I’m not going to pay $66 bucks for a “Mystery Science Theater 3000” DVD set which can be found for $39 on Amazon.com. That is absurd and an inappropriate business practice. Books, who are on the verge of extinction, follow the very same price gouging! Comparing a best seller on Amazon and Borders will show at least a dollar difference if not more. Now don’t call me cheap because like your grandmother always said after staring at the grocery store’s receipt for 10 minutes, every penny counts. They could have easily avoided this disaster by jumping on the e-commerce wagon when competitors were. As much as I despise Barnes & Noble, they truly lucked out. And it’s without saying they would be gone too if it wasn’t for the Nook.

Not many will disagree that technology is amazing especially right now. For the past decade, technology has helped make the simplest task more convenient to achieve. Buying media over the interwebs just seems smarter these days with instant access, better pricing, and doing it all from the comfort of your home. Seriously, why go out when you can stay in? Gas prices are rapidly rising and we’ve only begun the season of spring. Driving to and fro just to pick up a book that will probably collect dust before finishing it, is a waste of money.

Speaking of collecting dust, I have been infamously known for never finishing a book. It’s my cross to bare but I am pretty confident it’s the smell of the moldy pages that does it in for me. When I do get the urge to pick up reading again, certain digital devices pop in my head. With a Nook or other comparable gadgets, an infinite source of material is at my very disposal anytime and anywhere.

You know they won’t buy those.

Now I know many of you might go to Borders and B&N for the social aspect. Say you meet up with some friends, grab a cup of joe and discuss hot celebrity news via US Weekly at your local conglomerate book store. By the way, did you hear about Frankie Muniz’s 911 call? Yeah apparently his girlfriend was “going crazy” and decided to trash Frankie’s house. Mind you this was after last week where he allegedly held a gun up to his head and then punched her. I’m serious, look it up. Anyways, I digress. My family and I have a tradition where we will visit Barnes & Noble and go on a reading splurge. Rarely will we purchase anything but when we do find a book worthy of our book shelf, the author/title is written and later purchased on Amazon or checked out at the library. If there is anything to be missed about these closures, book trips with the fam will be.

It’s quite possible that once society crosses over to pure digital media, meaning your entire library is located on a hard drive or on a giant server several states away, libraries will become the mausoleum of books and all but ones who actually had to use these malodorous bounded pages of dust for homework will mourn in their wake.

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  • Borders closing is sad, but expected. I expect the same thing to happen to Hastings, though not as a result of being a book seller. The problem with Borders and Hastings is they tried to dip into too many business areas, instead of sticking with just books.
    I have to disagree with your assumption that B&N will share the same fate as Borders. B&N’s Books are priced around the same (sometimes cheaper, sometimes not) as Amazon.com. Both usually have free shipping deals, but B&N has the satisfaction of near-instant gratification. Libraries are great, but they don’t always have the book you’re looking at, they may have a long wait time for a new release, driving to the library (just as bad as driving to B&N) and if you read at a slower pace, you are pretty much guaranteed a late fee.
    I love my eBook reader and Android app just as much as the next geek and the even more instant gratification of eBooks is convenient, but the biggest problem is DRM. It will always keep me from buying solely eBooks. I’m sure others are also wary, too. The physical book won’t be around forever, but I wouldn’t count brick-and-mortar bookstores out just yet.

    • I completely agree with you when it comes to reading recreationally via the library. It’s more of a “research for my psych 101 final essay” kind of place now instead of a pleasure read.

      What pisses me off about libraries and DRM, at least here in Arizona, is that even though you’re able to check out books on an e-book device, libraries still treat it as if it was a physical copy. So if one wants to check out “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”, they will have to queue until a “copy” is available but you’re not guaranteed that copy because 324 people are in front of you. Why not skip the middle man and download it for free? I don’t support that, but if it’s going to be that much of a hassle, piracy becomes quite enticing.

      I don’t mind DRM when I’m purchasing a book. As long as I can read it instantly and do so without problems, publishers/distributers can do whatever they want. Plus when I’m done reading a book, I don’t care to read it again unless it’s educational. Oh well.