Borders Going Out Of Business
I was about to write about something else, but when I heard the news, the other topic became less important. Sad news. Borders is going out of business.
I was a frequent visitor of the Borders bookstore in downtown Boston. A very cozy store where I bought many books. I cannot imagine downtown without the Borders store.
Putting personal feelings aside, it is a sad story not only for Borders customers. It is sad for its competitors. Obviously, there will be a loss in revenues for Amazon and other online stores since many customers browse books in bookstores before going online and placing an order. In other words, online stores benefit from bookstores without actually spending a penny there.
Borders should have reinvented itself by mixing regular book sales with online store and e-book sales. May be Borders considered that and this model did not justify expenses.
But I think this is a form of the tragedy of the commons. Bookstores have a good impact on the society. Kids like to come to bookstores, explore books and play. This is how they learn. This is how they develop curiosity to knowledge. They cannot yet browse online books. They like to touch them, explore their different forms and shapes. There is no replacement for this.
One may argue that Barnes and Noble is still around. But loosing a competitor is bad for the consumer.
Borders will be missed and its disappearance will have a noticeable impact to the society, although, not attributed directly to Borders as it will take years to notice that impact. Sad.