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Friday, March 18, 2011

DISCUSSION POST: Borders Closure Update and More

I live in a small town that has no major book store.  If I want to purchase a new book on release day, I am better off by either buying online or traveling 50 miles to the next town to get it.  All we have in our small town is a few used book stores that don't have much of a selection, Goodwill, a grocery store and a Kmart.  It is slim pickings and newer releases don't arrive to these stores until months down the road.  If I want a book that is releasing a certain date, my best bet has always been to drive the 50 miles to the next town and buy it.  Sure there is online ordering, but I still wouldn't have it until days after release day.

Now not only does this make it hard for buying books, but it also makes it hard for any type of author signing event.  Most authors travel about 150 miles South of me before traveling up the coast line to San Francisco.  They can never make a pit stop within my range of driving.  It is very frustrating!  I was fortunate enough to meet Alyson Noel and TK Richardson though at a signing that they graciously attended at the Borders 50 miles away and at the Russo Books that is also in the area.  Those have been the only authors to have done this in a long time.  Now with the most recent information that has been released, it looks like they won't be doing it again.

Recently, Borders announced the closure of 200 stores after filing for Bankruptcy.  We all waited with our breath held hoping that our stores wouldn't be included on the list.  I know I was worried as well!  If my local Borders was on that list, I would have to travel over 100+ miles to another one.  I don't have time or money for gas to travel that far so needless to say, I was worried.  Yes, we have a Barnes and Noble, but they never have any good deals here and they hardly ever host an author for an event. They are too cheap and too better-than-thou to support the authors enough to hold an event.  Now this may not be true at other B&N's, but for ours, that is how it is.  They refuse to help you and they never seem to have the time to order or look something up for you.  In two words--they suck.  When the Borders list was released, I wiped the sweat on my brow and sighed with relief that ours was spared.

Now, Border's has announced an updated list adding 28 more stores bringing it to a total of 228.  Did my local store make the list? Yes.  I. AM. PISSED.  Instead of adding an additional store from another city that has 3 or 4 stores, they close one in a town where they are the ONLY one!  Then they try and tell me to check out their online store for ordering now.  Hello? What is the point? Unless you plan on shipping it days before release so I can have it in my hands on release day, I see no point in it.  I can go to Amazon and do the same thing. (For the full updated list of closures please click HERE)

Then I got to thinking about how much I love a printed book.  Yes, I caved and bought an e-reader, but I hardly ever use it.  Half the time I can't figure the darn thing out!  I knew that once the electronics took over the lovely print books, stores would close.  I still believe that ebooks have ruined the sales of print books.  Some of you have even emailed me and asked why I even care about this since I get ARCs all of the time.  Yes, I receive ARCs, but I also PURCHASE many books.  If I give a book a 4 or 5 star rating that I reviewed in ARC format, I can guarantee you that it goes directly to my list titled "BUY".  I always either pass on the ARC to another blogger/friend or donate it to the local library.  If it was a book I loved or by an author that I love, I always support them and purchase a copy.  Sometimes if I was not a fan of the book, I still buy a copy to host a giveaway with.  Unfortunately, I might not be able to do this as much now with only online purchasing available now.

So the next time you think about purchasing that book in ebook format instead of print format, think about how it is taking away from smaller towns who no longer have a book store to purchase print books anymore.  The electronics are taking away from the people -- who is a big number of people-- who still can't afford or want the luxury of e-readers.

What are your thoughts on Print Books vs. E-books?  Do you have a preference? Was it one of your local Border's closing?  What options do you have in your town for buying books?


Blogger Anna said...

I like both Print books and ebooks. I own a Kindle, but I still buy print books the most. For the most part when I'm purchasing ebooks they are books from Samhain and Ellora's Cave.

Locally my book buying options are not that great. My only source is Walmart and frankly they suck most times. I end up usually ordering on Amazon. I do have a Borders (an hour or so away from me) I go to every few months or so, I just looked it's not one of stores closing. But four others in my state will close down.

While ebook books are nice and ordering online is convenient I would rather walk around a book store and browse. It's sad to see so many bookstores closing.

March 18, 2011 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger gabrielreads said...

This is why I still refuse to buy an e-reader. I got the "Kindle for PC" app on my computer, but only so that I could add more classic literature to my library while saving money so that I could support authors who haven't been dead for over a century.

I love the written word and I prefer it to be written on an actual page in an actual book. I worry that someday they'll phase out real, tangible books completely and that libraries and bookstores will all go digital. There are many people who disagree but in this techno-obsessed world, it's a real possibility.

March 18, 2011 at 12:06 PM  
OpenID kathrynsbooknook said...

I feel for you, I really do. I was lucky that my Borders made the cut. However, many of the cities with multiple Borders do have them closing. For example, LA, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose all have two stores closing each. So it isn't as if they are keeping that many multiples in cities. My aunt's Borders is closing and she is upset too.
I feel the same way as you do about Barnes & Noble. I have never been a big fan. I always prefer Borders. But isn't that better than nothing, unless it is outrageously far away.
Again, I am sorry yours is closing. I used to have a Kindle until one of my sisters stepped on my purse and broke it and I just can't afford to replace it right now.
Anyway, I hope things look up for you. I know the joy of holding a real book in your hands and smelling its beautiful smell...

March 18, 2011 at 3:32 PM  
Blogger Bev Hankins said...

Our Borders is already gone. Closed just after Christmas (great present for book lovers. Not). I detest B&N...and totally agree with you about their "better than you" attitude. The entire store (lots of glossy wood, leather chairs, etc) make me feel like I just stepped out of my tax bracket every time I walk in.

As far as e-readers go--at this time the only way I'll ever have one is if I win one in a contest. I don't plan on spending money that I could use on a REAL book/s to buy another screen. If they phase out real books for new publications, then they won't be making money off of me. I'll be haunting the used book shops and buying up all the REAL books I can. (Not that I don't do that already. LOL.)

March 18, 2011 at 4:47 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Both of the Borders stores in Tulsa are closing! We now have two Barnes and Noble stores left. I liked alternating between Borders and B&N...it's sad what's happening to Borders!

March 18, 2011 at 6:46 PM  
Blogger Candace said...

I have a Kobo but I've never bought a single book for it. It's only for review books.
I prefer Borders only for the coupons. They suck at stocking so I can never count on new releases being out. When Out for Blood came out I went in and they told me it was in the back, come back in a few days. Well, I went back every few days for two more months! It NEVER went on the shelf. I ended up ordering it. I could've had it on release or the day after if I had ordered it in the first place. But I still like browsing bookstores so I go there for that but if I want a new release I order it. I usually get it on the release date or the day after. I try to order from Borders still though, to support them (even though I get so angry with them!) but amazon seems to have plenty of business and I really don't want to see my Borders go out of business no matter how mad I am.
Anyway, so sorry that yours is going out of business. So far ours isn't, but I guess I haven't checked since the latest cut was made.

March 19, 2011 at 8:33 AM  
Blogger James Garcia Jr said...

Hi. I hate the whole idea of not having a book store or library. We lose so much when this happens. We lose a part of our soul, too, I think. I miss the thrill of driving to the record store and picking up that new album, flying back home and listening to it, all the while holding the cover in my hand. Perhaps it is inevitable that we'll lose our book stores as well.
On the other hand, I am an author who has benefited from having an e-book. My wife and I have bought so many more books and enjoyed most of these due to the Kindles that we have.
My hope is that some of these store owners/chains will get creative and find a way to stay open. Perhaps if they make them friendly places where we can sit around, buy physical as well as e-books and hang out. I don't know.
I hope so. I hate to think that I had something to do with their demise...


March 19, 2011 at 1:34 PM  
Blogger Sara@CleverlyInked said...

I am only into Printed books! I have been building a library since I was a child, and I continue to keep all the books that I have ever bought since that time. I have boxes full of books! Most of which I have read! I refuse to buy an e-book reader, b/c so much of my life is already technology driven. I prefer to sit down with a book on my back porch where I can sit and bask in the sun and be at peace. With an e-book reader, I would probably spill something on it and then it would be of no use to me anyways (I am kinda clutzy when it comes to drinks)! There are no Borders in my town, but I have been to several in the Orlando area, even though I live an hour away. I usually go to Barnes and Noble or Books a Million, because that is all that is available to me. Their selections are not always the best, and I hate it when people follow you around like a little lost dog, asking every five minutes if they can help you! No, I don't need your help, and if I did, then I would ask for it! I CAN read, thanks! Ugh!

I feel for you though! I can't imagine living in a town so small that there is not a bookstore and having to drive all that way just to be able to do what you love! I am glad there are still "traditionalists" out there like myself who love the feel of a good book in their hands, though! I thank you for that!

March 19, 2011 at 2:10 PM  
Blogger JenM said...

I'm going to offer a dissenting view. I do find it sad that bookstores are closing and I agree that there is nothing like browsing in a bookstore to find new books and authors. However, I'm one of those people that has repetitive stress injuries in both of my wrists and finds it hard to actually hold a book open, so for that and many other reasons, ebooks have been a godsend for me.

My Kindle is my precious. For me to give it up, someone would have to pry it out of my cold dead hands. I deeply resent having to read physical books these days. Thanks to the publishers' insane pricing policies I still buy some used books in order to keep my book budget under control but I hate it.

For the sake of all of the physical book lovers out there, I hope there will be room for both in the marketplace, but some consolidation is inevitable.

March 20, 2011 at 8:31 AM  
Blogger Alyssa Udall said...

That is really sucky! I used to live in Hollister, CA and we didn't have a bookstore in town either. Just Target, or as we called it, The Mall. Ha!

As for buying online, you can get a free Amazon Prime membership with an active student ID from many universities (yours OR a close family member's...). Then, if you pre-order a book and use the free Amazon Prime 2-day shipping upgrade, you will get the book the day it comes out.

I know. I've already done it a few times and it is AWESOME.

Hope that helps! :)

March 21, 2011 at 12:58 PM  
Blogger IrishHousewife said...

My husband and I are avid readers too. I swore I wouldn't get into Ebooks...and then I got an Ipod Touch and a couple of books were gifted to me by friends. Although I still adore my paperbacks and hardcovers, I love my Ibook application too. We're night owls and my hub falls asleep earlier than I do. While he doesn't mind the light, it's hard to read unless the brightest lamp is on. That leaves my Ipod and I LOVE it. Although it makes it WAY too easy to stay up half the night reading.

We have also lost our local Borders. They are very close to shutting the doors if it hasn't happened already. We loved having the option of two different stores. B&N and Borders usually had different selections to pick through so they were worth visiting. And we often bought from both. Borders had a bad habit of only stocking one or two of new release paperbacks which is just crazy in my opinion. Why have 10 different versions of Great Expectations and not have the latest releases? But even with that problem, I adjusted and picked up my new books ASAP. I will miss the wonderful people that we got to know the last four years we've lived up here.

Physical book count - 2000+ at last count two months ago with 5-20 books bought/swapped/gifted per week since.
Ebook count - I just hit the 1000 mark. If I love a book, I will buy an ebook version AND physical copy.

@Alyssa - I LOVE Amazon Prime. I get my new release hardcover + trade paperbacks that way.

March 22, 2011 at 1:39 AM  

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