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!
Photo credit: brewbooks