I have to be honest. When I first saw this, I thought it was some generic message thing that had to do with the quote alone. However, it was brought to my attention that this is from a Borders store. I have to say, this is the saddest thing I have seen all day, maybe even all week.
I’d like to personally thank the creators of the Kindle and Nook for this atrocity.
…I have no words.
And it makes me sad that one day there won’t be any hard copy books, just e-books, and probably our great-grandchildren -maybe even our grandchildren- will never know the feel of a book in their hands, the sound of a turning page, or the beautiful scent of a brand new book.
For people that aren’t in publishing, Borders did not close solely due to ebooks. They went bankrupt because they expanded too fast, made some very bad judgement calls, and then hired people to run their company who had zero book selling experience. I believe one of their last CFOs was from the mattress industry.
Borders didn’t even begin as a bookstore. They started out as an inventory system, and then they built a store around their own inventory system. They were also incredibly late to the game in building an online presence for themselves. I’m not saying what happened to Borders isn’t incredibly sad, but physical books are not going anywhere. Just as the magazine industry has seen smaller print runs and shutterings, they still exist, just as physical books will continue to exist.
Boom, commentaried. Y’all know that Border’s marketed its own e-reader, right? Called the Kobo. It was a pretty neat little device that never really had the chance to thrive, since the company went under pretty soon after it was rolled out - due to shitty business decisions. Physical books, bookstores, and libraries are not going anywhere, but the book industry needs to adapt in order to stay strong, and part of that adaptation is embracing e-readers. Most companies are doing this. Like my boss says, as booksellers we are basically dinosaurs. We need to evolve into chickens if we want to survive. It’s an imperfect metaphor but it totally works.
Can I just… really? If you’re going to choose something to be upset about, don’t pick Borders. Pick the hundreds and thousands of thoughtful little local bookstores with actual character that are being forced out of business by massive, mindless companies like Borders.
Also worth knowing:
- The Kobo still exists.
- Ebooks are still books. It’s just that you can now carry your entire library with you wherever you go.
- You can still buy actual physical books; no one is stopping you.
If you like physical books, consider contacting Amazon and letting them know that you’d like the book equivalent of Amazon AutoRip as soon as possible. This will encourage fans of ebooks who also like physical books—me, for example—to keep buying physical books instead of just purchasing cheaper, more convenient ebooks.
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