How Can This Happen? The End of Borders

We stopped in the Borders in Rogers, AR on the way home today.  One of their smaller stores but it was a neat looking store.  There was an upstairs where there was nothing but the coffee shop.  All the chairs were turned upside down on the tables and there was a sign saying the coffee shop was closed for good.  Reality sets in.

There was a line of people all the way across the front of the store waiting to check out.  We weren’t going to wait that long for anything.  Well, maybe that $650 cookbook at 80% off but there was really nothing discounted more than 20%.  You could beat the prices at Amazon and maybe at Barnes and Noble.  Maybe later when the discounting gets serious.  We have one store in the KC area that is closing.  Thankfully it’s not ours.  I don’t see how Borders can survive for long though.

It looked like most of the people had one or two items in hand.  What were they buying, souvenirs?  It could find a half dozen books to buy in fifteen minutes if the they were truly discounted.  Real book people would bring multiple book bags, bring suitcases, bring wheelbarrows to a real sale.

I hope the e-book is not the end of bookstores.  On line music shopping rearranged music marketing.  E-books will probably do something like that to book sales.  But I hope we will still have big bookstores to go to.  Bookstores are where you go to get a coffee, sit down with a stack of books and sample, where you visit with the barista, where you can catch snip-its of conversation from the other tables,  where you make friends if only in passing, if only for a moment.  A bookstore feels communal.  You miss all that sitting in front of the computer in your pajamas and shopping for books.  We need bookstores.

Bookstores are where you make discoveries.


About Angus Lewis

My wife and I lived our whole lives in Arkansas until ten years ago. We moved to the Kansas City area in 2011 (a job change). That was the reason for the 'From a Far Country' title. Our children and grandchildren were in Arkansas. Six months ago we sold our house and bought one in Sherwood, Arkansas and my wife moved back down here. Two weeks ago I retired and moved back too. (I'm probably going to try to find something part time to keep me out of trouble.) So maybe the 'From a Far Country' title is not so much of a fit anymore. But I think I'll stick with it. I'm still not home. Not yet. The Bible says we are all strangers and pilgrims here. Our real home is with God and some day we'll be there. We'll be home.
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