Thursday, February 17, 2011

Borders to close = My library to grow

It makes me sad every time a bookstore -- yes, even a bigtime corporate one -- announces it will be closing. When even Borders declares bankruptcy, as was reported yesterday, it really begins to seem like our only option one day is going to be buying books online -- or worse yet, being restricted to paperless electronic books.

I am not a Kindle reader. There's little I love more than the smell of a new book, and I look at a computer (or iPhone) screen all day, so why would I also want to stare at a screen to read a book? There's nothing cozy about a digital book, even if it does make carting around numerous tomes at once a lighter load.

But enough with my soapbox about why I love the real thing. I'm a card carrying member of more than one public library system (Aren't you? If not, you should be ashamed of yourself! What a public treasure you're missing out on), and I'm the first to admit that books are expensive. So why am I admittedly -- if somewhat ashamedly -- excited that Borders is closing some of its stores? Because that means books for cheap!

According to the Associated Press, Borders is going to close 200 of its 642 stores over the next few weeks and begin pricing merchandise at clearance levels as early as this weekend. That's a short window to buy a lot of books. DCist says three of those locations are right here in the DC metro -- 1801 K Street NW, 5333 Wisconsin Avenue NW, and White Flint in Kensington. On a totally separate note, I wonder what's going to take over what are going to be huge available retail spaces. Yet another silver lining.


  1. I totally agree. It is really sad. The B&N near Lincoln Center just closed too. Thanks for posting this.

  2. I think they'll actually send a lot of books back to publishers instead of discounting. Dusty's publisher told him he's got 30k worth of books coming back to him - not a good thing for a small biz.

  3. As a big Kindle fan (had one since 2008), I feel I should defend the Kindle's honor here. The display uses a technology called E Ink, and its not back-lit like your computer screen or even the competitive e-readers. Here's an article that explains:

    Anyway, after a day at work, I think if you gave a Kindle a try, you'd find it just as relaxing as a physical book. You'd also save paper, emissions from transporting phsyical books, and your own money (many books off copyright can be downloaded completely free!).

    Ok, now I'll get off my soapbox, too. :)

  4. UPDATE: Wall Street Journal reports that Borders is going out of business:
    According to the story, going-out-of-business sales at the remaining 400 stores may start as soon as Friday.