Sorry Borders

This news made me sad today…

“Borders Group has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and plans to close 30% of its stores”

Borders books has been my favorite bookstore for years.  In fact, I’m actually quite snobby about it.  I will drive across town to go to Borders rather than go to the bookstore down the street.  I like the environment.  Their displays are done well.  The cafe is nice.  Store clerks let me roam without checking on me all the time – available if I need them, but not hovering.  The note card and journals section always tempts me… I could go on.

But honestly, today’s news did not surprise me too much.  As great as my love for Borders is, I’ve been cheating on him.  A few months ago I unknowingly outgrew Borders.  I didn’t really realize it until I was wandering through the store last night looking for a gift.  I was horribly tempted by the new release tables, but it dawned on me how committed I am to my newest love – the iPad.  No longer am I interested in buying a stack of books that I have no idea when I’ll really read.  Instead I browsed their racks and made some mental notes of books that I was going to buy either on my Kindle App or from ibooks.

The world of reading has radically changed for me and I had to leave my old love behind.

I wonder if Borders has any clue that even their most faithful are being slowly pulled away?  How come they didn’t keep up?  Did they think I wouldn’t grow or change?

Sorry Borders, I may have unintentionally contributed to your demise.  I wish you would have kept up.

Question for leaders:  Are you paying attention to what may be changing for your customer/attendee?  How can you keep up?

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  • Melissa Brotherton February 16, 2011  

    I saw this news on Twitter this morning, and I was so sad. One of my first jobs was at Borders, and it’s still my favorite bookstore to go to. But, like you, I have bought most of my books lately through Amazon/Kindle. When I worked at Borders, Amazon was just starting to get popular, and so many of the employees were angry that people would choose to purchase their books online rather than at the store. It took forever for Borders to catch up with their online purchasing and now they aren’t even in the race for ebooks. I really hope that bookstores don’t go the way of the video store.

  • Jeremy Statton February 17, 2011  

    I love books and bookstores, but I have not been inside of a bookstore lately at all. I use a kindle and when a book is not available on kindle I just buy it off of It will be sad if bookstores close all together someday.

  • katie February 19, 2011  

    your good

  • M. Thornton May 20, 2011  

    Call me old fogy, but I love the feel and smell of a real book. I enjoy reading to children and having them touch the colorful pages. When needed, yes, I even appreciate the ability to highlight and make notes in some books. So far, I have elected against purchasing an e-reader because I anticipated its negative impact on bookstores. My daughter and I screamed with joy when Borders in Waldorf was slated to remain open!! I plan to purchase an e-reader one day, if they’re not replaced by the smart phone in the next year. But, the e-reader will be an alternative not a replacement to real books. A book is like a 67 Mustang, many times changed, but remains the classic.

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