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Borders Is Gone: Better For Local Bookstores?

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The fact that so many have mourned the closure of Borders is a sign that people consider bookstores important. Elly Blue, who is on a month-long Dinner & Bikes tour around the western U.S.. proposes that bikes could play a part in bringing back the neighborhood bookstore. At a stop in affluent Santa Monica — which is full of bike enthusiasts but very short on bookstores — Blue describes the tour’s traveling bookstore, which contains books about bikes, urban gardening and radical movements. Writes Blue:

The demand we found in Santa Monica for independent bookstores and underground publishers means it’s only a matter of time before someone rises to fill the space left after the big-box crash. It’s a trend that parallels the rise of the bicycle movement: As society and individuals stagger under the ever-escalating costs of building and maintaining roads, filling up our gas tanks, and suffering the health and social consequences of auto-centric suburbs, many of us have turned back to the simplicity of the bike.

You could say that cars killed the independent bookstore: They fell prey to the same nexus of industrial, financial, and political maneuvering that created our car-oriented landscape. But bicycling could help bring them back. Right now, it feels good to know our tiny rental car carries both bikes and the promise of a new iteration of urbanism — one where everyone can afford to both travel at will, sit, and read a good book.

Could bikes help bring back bookstores at a local level?

 

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The End of the Story: Borders To Close

 

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22 comments

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2:28PM PDT on Sep 27, 2011

I always preferred used book stores over places like Borders - I certainly hope they don't go out of style! I have some of my best life memories around the discoveries I found in used book stores!

6:46AM PDT on Sep 23, 2011

I'm gonna miss Borders sooo much!! Whenever I went to the US I'd look forward to a visit to the local Borders, and spend hours there.

6:56PM PDT on Sep 22, 2011

I sort of miss the smaller, privately owned book stores. I know they bare going the way of the cassette due to kindles, ect.. They were always a gre4at place to hang out, visit with friends and look for treasures on the back shelves.

6:21PM PDT on Sep 22, 2011

I loved Borders. Whatever I wanted they either had or got for me. I am one of those people who can't survive without a book by my side. Unfortunately, I am afraid I will have to give up and us a Nook or such. I am sorry to say that our children and grandchildren will probably never know the thrill of finding, holding and reading just the right book. I was not allowed to run free in Borders, there was always a limit to what I could spend and boy did that cause problems. Books in the paper form are an experience everyone should have. For this reason, I even hope that Barnes & Noble makes it and any other bookstore as well.

1:58PM PDT on Sep 22, 2011

I love real books. I like to hold a book and turn the pages. To me, an electronic version just isn't the same. I go to Barnes and Noble and they have the most wonderful atmosphere in the one I go to. I also buy a lot of books from Amazon...I'm trying to keep all the books I buy now because I want to eventually have a small library of my own.

1:27PM PDT on Sep 22, 2011

Thats why they have to have live music and sell coffee - the bookstores need to branch out and expand their business model

11:18AM PDT on Sep 22, 2011

Bookstores in general still exist, and in our city there are now two new "independent" bookshops since Borders was closed. Long live the hopes of all book lovers!

11:10AM PDT on Sep 22, 2011

Used book stores seem to be thriving....

10:43AM PDT on Sep 22, 2011

A Borders store did closed down by where I work. For the last two weeks, the staff has been disassembling the book shelves. It will not be long before the building is vacant.

I used to go to book stores often. I loved walking around, checking out the selections, and drinking coffee in the snack area. I always walked out with a new book or two.

For convince reasons, I started shopping online with Barnes and Nobles and Amazon. And, since Amazon provides free shipping on orders of $25 and more, I obviously buy my books at Amazon.

But, lately, after understanding a little of what Kindle Books are all about, I began contemplating on making the transition into digital books that can be store on a Kindle 6” device with built-in Wi-Fi. Nowadays, one can get 3G with it and I think it is free, but I am not sure.

Also, many libraries now have digital books. We may be losing our traditional way of reading books before long, which also means the hardcopies will become collectors’ pieces.

9:22AM PDT on Sep 22, 2011

I used to shop at out local bookstore until my husband lost his job. I use Amazon for used books, and we have a great used bookstore. They give you credit for books returned and sell at a very low price.

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches and writes about ancient Greek and Latin and is Online Advocacy and Marketing... more
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