Monday, August 8, 2011

Reality Bites

If you recall last week, I discussed my feelings of dismay for the closing of Borders book store. The loss of my beloved Borders is the end of an era and a damper on my dream of mainstream publication. Yesterday, I saw the reality of this loss first hand.

Like many of you, I wear more than one hat. I’m not just a writer. I’m a wife, a mother, a daughter, a friend and so on. It was in my capacity as mother that I had cause to find myself in the vicinity of Borders. I wish I could say it was because my children wanted to get some books before the doors close for good. I wish I could say that, but I can’t. The truth is, my fifteen year old daughter needed a ride to the movies, and the theater is a few doors down from Borders.

When I pulled into the parking lot to drop her off, my eyes were drawn to Borders. Subsequently, my heart sank to see the huge black and yellow going out of business banner draped across the top of the building. Signs taking up every piece of imaginable window space proclaimed amazing deals with nothing held back. As much as it pained me to do it, I went inside. The idea was to peruse the writing for publication and writing improvement section to see if I could snag a few good deals on books to better my craft. Ironic I know.

I was thoroughly disgusted at what I found inside. No, the inventory wasn’t picked over and the place wasn’t in shambles. Instead, it was crawling with people who were no doubt in search of bargains, and this is what steamed me. Where were these people when Borders needed them? Why couldn’t they be bothered to come in and buy books then, keeping not only Borders afloat but keeping authors afloat as well?

Now, I’ll be the first to admit when it came to music and movies, Borders’ prices were inflated, so a fifty percent reduction on these items caught my eye. However, music and movies were only a small part of their substantial inventory. Books were their bread and butter, and their retail was comparable to that of other book stores, though a bit higher than say Target or Wal Mart. That being said, I couldn’t always find what I wanted at those discount chain stores, but Borders rarely let me down. On the few occasions they didn’t have a book I wanted in stock, they could order it for me and have it shipped to their store for pick up so I didn’t incur the shipping cost.   

With the invention of devices like the Kindle, e-books have taken off. In turn, these more affordable and accessible alternatives to the paperback have driven brick and mortar book stores out of business. Borders was just another unfortunate casualty in the reality of evolving technology. I understand, but I still think it could’ve been spared its fate had consumers cared more about the written word than the latest gadget or the cheapest prices. Keep in mind, sometimes you get what you pay for.

Either way, Borders bites the dust and reality bites!


  1. R.I.P. borders. The reality is that most people want convenience instead of going out to the store and supporting the artists that take the time an master their craft. Its a tragedy in this time and age however like time we must evolve and venture into the uncharted and also scary waters to make sure of the survival of wonderful works of art. I for one know the value of a 1st edition book. ANGEL

  2. Times are changing. My niece and nephew don't even use phone books anymore. They google......