Goodbye Borders

Although it’s a little outside of our usual subject matter, I sadly note the passing of Borders. Yesterday Borders announced that it was canceling its upcoming bankruptcy auction and liquidating the company instead. Although some creditors are objecting, it’s almost certain that Borders will close its 399 remaining stores and sell off its assets.

The story of how Borders arrived at this end is well known. They didn’t take Internet sales seriously and failed to appreciate how ebooks would change their industry. I’ve written before about the challenges facing the publishing industry and my hope that they would avoid the same mistakes that the music industry made. So far, they appear to be oblivious to the new reality. Perhaps Borders can serve as a wakeup call. No matter how much you want your business to stay the way it was, circumstances and customers move on. You either move with them or you end up like Borders.

Like most folks, I mainly get my books on-line and tend to prefer ebooks over the dead tree variety. Still, I have fond memories of browsing at Borders and enjoying a comfortable chair and cup of coffee while I skimmed through a book. I’ll miss the opportunity to do so in the future.

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