Borders has filed bankruptcy and is closing 1,300 of it’s stores and to this I say “so what.” Remember when “You’ve got Mail” came out and everyone thought the big bad box bookstore was evil because it was killing the corner bookstore. Cries of “How could they” were abound. Now the tables have turned and the evil Amazon is killing the big box store and suddenly everyone feels sorry for the big box store. (Full disclosure, I am a huge fan of Amazon. I am one of those people who orders so much I am a Prime Member and pay for shipping by the year. I buy clothes, toys, more books than I can read and even groceries. That said, I’m a book junkie, I have been known to buy 15 books on a single transaction and up to 50 books in a single month, so this is an area in which I can have a strong opinion).
I once had fond feelings for Borders, back in the day they had the information desk and a knowledgeable staff. I could ask a questions and there was a good chance I would get an answer. I tried to explain this to my 13-year old stepson and he pointed out that they still have the computers, you can look stuff up. If I have to go to a computer to look stuff up why don’t I just order online. Gone are the days you could order something they didn’t have in stock and buy it on your next trip, now you can order from a computer in the store and have it shipped to your house. Again, why not just do the whole thing from home.
St. Louis has a good selection of independent and used booksellers for the tactile person enjoys browsing the books and holding them in your hands before you buy. One of my favorite scents is that of a book, I smell every book before I begin reading it. These stores have knowledgeable staff members that can answer your questions and some of them even guide you to another author you’d enjoy based on what you have liked in the past.
Something new will always replace the old. We feared what the big box store would do to the independent bookstore and now the big box store seems to be earning the same sympathy for what is being done to it by the online giant. Maybe if Borders had stuck more to its own vision instead of trying to be every thing to every one they would have found a loyal niche market.
Check out these fantastic bookstores St. Louis has to offer. I love the feel of Left Bank book and The Book House defies explanation, but I want to live there!!Mills Properties