It's a sad day for book lovers everywhere. The end had been coming for a while. It started with the demise of many of the independent bookstores. They were either driven out of business by the big box stores, or assimilated into the conglomerate. Barnes and Noble, Borders and Waldenbooks were the big boys in the brick and mortar world, with Amazon.com fulfilling the voracious appetites of readers who no longer had a neighborhood bookstore to patronize. Then, just a few years ago, Borders snapped up Waldenbooks.
Is it Karma that the big box stores who brought about the demise of so many indi booksellers are now, themselves, struggling? Perhaps.
Another nail in the coffin was delivered on Monday, when Borders, after a last ditch effort, announced its closure. Huge clearance sales abound at the website and in the remaining 399 stores.
Sadly, the true impact of the chain's closure hasn't yet been determined.
First of all, there is the impact on the store's approximately 10,700 employees. Our struggling economy really didn't need that blow.
Authors, too, will take a hit. Kathleen Schmidt, a book publicist, tweeted this explanation: "Here is how the Borders closing will impact publishers: Say you have a bestselling author and you usually do a 1st printing of 100K books. Out of that 1st print of 100K, B&N/Amazon would take a large quantity, then Target, maybe Costco/BJs/Walmart, then Borders, then indies. If you're an author with a 1st print of 30K (a lot), you prob don't have price clubs or Target. You have B&N, Amazon, Borders, and indies. Now, take Borders OUT of that 1st print equation. Also consider that B&N is conservative with numbers these days. That 30K turns into 15K."
Scary for employees, scary for authors, scary for other small businesses struggling in this harsh economy.
A horror tale of the times. Someone should write a book about it...