Will Borders’ Closing Lead to More Independent Bookstores?


Borders began its final closing sales on Friday in an attempt to clear merchandise from the shelves of 399 stores across the country. Once blamed for the disappearance of hundreds of mom-and-pop bookstores, Borders will close its doors to the lament of many book lovers deprived of the only bricks-and-mortar bookstore in their area.

But will the Borders liquidation turn out to be a positive development for the independent bookselling community? Some people seem to think so.

Let’s face it, e-books have not yet usurped printed books (p-books). There are still plenty of people who prefer to read from bound paper than from an electronic screen. While Amazon makes it easy to shop for books online, its selection represents only a fraction of the available titles. Furthermore, a website can’t replicate the experience of browsing the shelves of a bookstores, not looking for anything in particular… just looking.

Thehighlow.com suggests that “the closings might pay the way for indie sellers to set up shop nearby old Borders, if in more appropriately-sized quarters.” It seems that small, independently-owned bookstores that cater to the specific needs of the surrounding community, for example with focuses on Latino or African American literature, might be able to succeed at a time when many are predicting the end of the bookstore as we know it.

What types of books would you like to see in a small local bookstore? How can we help independent bookstores succeed?

Check out this list of independent bookstores to find one near you!

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Photo credit: brewbooks

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Nancy N.
Nancy Norton3 years ago

We had a nice Borders Book Store across the street from where I live and my family loved being able to walk over in the evenings and find a book or magazine it was great and was always fairly busy. I hate that they closed it now we have to drive 30 minutes or farther to a store. I do go to a used book store and get books there, it is nice to trade for new ones, I am not a fan of e readers or Kindles I want to hold the book in my hand and have quite a collection of books that are my favorites that I can pull out and read over again. There is nothing like sitting in a cozy spot reading a good book not a computer screen which is what those e readers basically are. Everyone needs to slow down and enjoy the little things in life, beside how can you pass on a favorite book if it is on e reader????

Ann G.
Ann G.4 years ago

There is a great independent bookstore near us, which we go to instead of Borders or Barnes & Noble.

dawn w.
Dawn W.4 years ago

I would love to shop at local,independent bookstores, if I could find one.Wasn't it the internet that killed Borders? It will probably do the same to mom&pop stores,if there are any left.

Treesa Math
tia Math4 years ago

conserve the art of reading... independent bookstores or not ,as long as they have books other than bestsellers,i think that would what make a good bookstore

Gloria W.
Gloria W.4 years ago


Lynne B.
Lynne Buckley4 years ago

I hope that there will be more independent bookstores but I think the internet will gobble up the business that Borders had.

Dianne Robertson
Dianne Robertson4 years ago

The IDEA of a charming,cozy neighborhood bookstore is wonderfully enticing. I love books, I love the feel and smell of books.I read --and write constantly. I own about 2500 books and have a wishlist of several hundred more. I live in a rural area -- a very small town with TWO small bookstores. If I need a certain book for a certain reason I go buy it BUT I think the IDEA of the cozy bookshop has gone with the fragrance of lavender . I order from Amazon and from several other bookdealers. They may even assume that I AM a bookstore. BUT YOUNG people are computerized. READING is now a lost art. Huge bookstores have a lot in common with WALMART. Everybody claims to HATE them but EVERYBODY shops there. CONVENIENCE. Kids don't read anyway and everyone else ACTUALLY goes for the QUICK and EASY. CHEAP counts too. So.sorry optimistic readers. My remedy is to surround myself with books and PRETEND that I live in a library--or a bookshop.

Joy Looney
Joy Looney4 years ago

I would love to hopefully open someday my own independent bookstore and make it most welcoming to everyone. I wouldn't even care if I never sold any books, its the atmosphere that people enjoy.

Rachel Beckford
Rachel Beckford4 years ago

Sad that we even have to have a discussion on the merits of bookstores. What is next, the public libraries?

Monica T.
Monica C.4 years ago

Not only would I patronize one, I would love to open my own. I've always wanted to since I was a child. I always had a favorite store back home in Colorado that my aunt took me too and it's been etched in my memories since.
YEAH for the Mom and Pop book stores.
I'm not sorry that Borders is closing, maybe for it's employees, what few actually worked... but everytime I went in there and needed help, there wasn't any, or they were too busy doing other things, not to mention that I couldn't get what I wanted because it was always out of stock. Good way to run a business.
On that note... These Ereaders... blah! I spend enough time in front of the computer reading and looking at a screen... I want something to take hold of that feels good when I hold it and that I can book mark my page. I want good solid books!