(Forgive me if I'm rambling!)
Upon hearing about Borders filing for bankruptcy, some numbers stuck out to me:
200 -- The approximate numbers of stores to be closed. There's a rumor that all of the superstores in Milwaukee will be closing. All stores in Austin, Texas will close. Several of the stores set for closure are in New York, including one that I frequent. Noooooooooooooo!!! This particular store I loved to visit often. Sometimes I didn't even buy anything. Like most book lovers, I can easily lose a few hours browsing the shelves. I plan to go there soon before it closes.
6,000 -- The approximate number of people who will lose their jobs because of this. It's already hard out there to find a job, and Borders isn't helping. Plus, with all of those stores closing, that's a lot of empty retail space. That's going to impact the owners of those spaces. What if they can't find another tenant? What about the adjacent stores next to these Borders? They will also lose customers. Borders filing for bankruptcy doesn't just impact the company and its employees. A lot more people could lose their livelihood.
$182 million -- The combined amount Borders owes to publishers, including $41. 1 million alone owed to Penguin. Borders stopped paying publishers in late 2010. It makes me wonder how this company will survive if they damage relationships with publishers?
I know some people don't care because they have e-readers, or they shop online or at indie stores. But I care. There aren't a lot of book stores in my neighborhood. Not a single one is in walking distance. In addition to my review books, Borders has been my source for books. I know some people don't have a lot of sympathy for big chain stores like Borders because they put so many mom and pop stores out of business. However, I think Borders filing for bankruptcy is sad. Not enough people are reading as it.
With their downfall it makes me wonder about the future of reading? Is reading dying down or is the culture of reading change? It's more that the culture is changing and Borders wasn't fully prepared. I know they tried to adapt by selling music and DVDS, and including cafes in their stores. But apparently that wasn't enough. With the ability to have thousands of books at the touch of your fingertips on your smartphone, Kindle, iPod, Kobo, or Nook, is it really necessary to have bookstores? To that I say yes!! There is something that an electronic device can't replace, the feel, touch and relaxing feeling that comes with browsing a bookstore.