Thursday, February 17, 2011

Borders isn't going away

Sadly, due to a combination of factors, Borders is going through Chapter 11. I've always liked Borders, even though there isn't one near my home or business. When I worked downtown I was a regular shopper.

I can understand why bookstores are struggling.

I went into Barnes & Noble a few years back to try and find a book. They were out, but said they could order it for me, they'd call and let me know when it was in and I could trek back down there and pick it up. OR, I could go on-line, order, get a discount, get free shipping and it would be delivered to my door a few days later. Well, gee, guess what I started doing on a regular basis? Ordering on-line of course.

I'm not into Kindle, eBooks and all the electronic readers. I like reading in odd places where electronic stuff just doesn't work. Anyone else have their shower setting set so they can read while showering? When taking a bath the idea of possibly dropping a Kindle into the water isn't relaxing. Standing over the stove cooking while holding a tablet reader doesn't work sometimes either.

I have nothing in the world against all the computerized stuff, I'm a semi-geek and love new technology (even when I don't know the correct terminology). But books are a tactile, touching, experience that I doubt I'll ever be able to give up.

I get my news via computer though. Sorry, newspapers.

I do hate to see Borders going through the reorganization, but am glad they'll still be around. They're not going anywhere. You can still buy on-line, stores are still open (although expect staff to be a little nervous about whether their store and jobs will survive).

To me, Chapter 11 is just a legal way to dump debt, cut staff, ditch buildings. It probably means that the stock holders will get stiffed, too. I owned K-Mart stock when they went through a similar process. Lost it all. Then they came back and didn't do anything for the stock holders. Perfectly legal, they sluffed off all the old, had no obligation, but I haven't walked into a K-Mart since it happened. I'd imagine Borders stock holders, assuming there is such a creature, will not be happy with them, but chances are they figured it was coming if they kept up.

So, shop on at Borders. They're saying all is normal for those of us out here in book-buying land. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to find that Borders is the first in a long row of bookstore dominoes.

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