Bryan Smith’s Take on Borders Going Bankrupt

Borders LogoIn the wake of Borders filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, 200 of their retail stores have begun liquidating their stock. You can download a list of the effected stores here. My local Borders is one of the stores on the chopping block and I paid it a visit over the weekend. Nearly all books were 20% off, which is an OK deal but nothing to get too worked up over. More attractive was the 40% off the cover price of all magazines.

Horror scribe Bryan Smith (I seem to be writing about him a lot lately) worked for Border’s for several years and has some interesting things to say about the company’s troubles, which you can read over at Brian Keene’s site. Sounds like the place was mismanaged to hell and back, and nobody in upper management apparently understood the value of a competitive ebook reader system until it was too late.

My sympathies go out to the store employees of course. As a consumer, though, I don’t see this impacting me much if at all. Despite my love of for ebooks and the convenience of online shopping at Amazon, I still love a good book browse. I can get that at Barnes and Noble or a few independently owned book stores still in my area. Will Barnes and Noble be next, though? I’ve heard rumblings that they aren’t in such great shape either.

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  1. Will E. says:

    Books have been getting more and more expensive for years; I prefer used bookstores overall. Why should I – or a student – pay $16 for a new copy of, I dunno, A TALE OF TWO CITIES, when you can buy one at a used bookstore or online for about a buck? I think once all these places started putting in cafes they screwed themselves b/c that encouraged people to sit around and read but *never buy the book.* Funny, that.

  2. admin says:

    Thanks for commenting, Will.

    When I’m in the market for a used book I usually check what is available on Amazon. Even with shipping the savings can be substantial. Used book stores are great, but selection is spotty. I took a class at a community college last Fall and much of the first session was taken up with my fellow students griping about the ridiculous prices at the college book store. I had purchased the text books used online. I thought this was a no-brainer, but no one else had apparently done this.

    I’ve heard others make the point that the cafe has been the downfall of Borders, but I’m not sure I agree. I can only speak of my own experience, but I’ve used the cafe at Borders and Barnes & Noble, and partaken of the free wifi, but I’ve still bought many books from both stores. That said, when I was unemployed for a month or so about a 10 years ago, the local Barnes & Noble was a great source of free entertainment.

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