Monday, July 18, 2011

And down goes Borders....

Once again, I remember how, in the late 90s, there was the deep, loud fear that the independent bookstore would be killed by the superchains i.e. Borders and Barnes & Noble.

It didn't happen.

At least Borders, at its best, did offer some degree of diversity in its store-to-store choices as well as community service/outreach through poetry and other readings (locally i.e. Ron Dvorkin's reading at the Canoga Park/Woodland Hills branch).

Now, all that's left of the "superstore" chains is Barnes & Noble--which is feverishly splashing resources onto its Kindle e-reader.  Plus it's making the huge mistakes Borders did in its later years--standardizing its product (meaning you get more or less the same selection of books in each store, with reduction in availability of certain genres) and chasing the "hot" temporary trend (i.e. the shelves devoted to teen "paranormal romance") at the expense of the everday customer.

And this isn't to let independent stores off the hook, either.  It doesn't do them any good to gloat and forever moan about the discount-priced (currently whining about not wanting to charge California state tax) as a designated demon.

With the absence of Borders, one hopes independent stores will flourish on a larger playing field. 

And it would be great to see, for example, the resurrection of the old Acres of Books used-book superstore in Long Beach.

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