Goodbye Borders

This morning the BBC announced that Borders the bookshop was closing down. This made me sad. Since I moved from Birmingham I have missed the huge bookshops that I had grown up going to. I first went to Borders in Inverness, and was astounded at the size of it. It had a coffee shop, a decent scifi selection, and loads of magazines. One day I found out that Borders was coming to my town, and now I go into the shop at least once every two weeks.

I've spent many an hour in Borders' Starbucks, whiling away the hours with a Caramel Macciato, reading a magazine or a book from the shop.

But I'm not surprised its closed down. I got to thinking - when was the last time I bought a book from Borders? A coffee - yes. A pen - yes. A photo album from Paperchase - yes. But a book? Erm. I remember the last book I bought. I found an interesting book on Sharepoint that I needed for work. I flicked through the book. Liked what I saw. But then what did I do? I took a picture of the ISBN on my phone camera and PUT THE BOOK BACK ON THE SHELF, went back to work and bought it from Amazon.

Conventional bookshops are wonderful places. Places to meet, to waste time, to browse. But are they places to buy books anymore? I'm sorry Borders, I love your shop - I love being in there - But I'm sorry that I haven't bought from you. I hope all bookshops don't go the same way. But I'll wager all but second hand and specialist bookshops will one day disappear from our streets.

Look at them all. A huge sale. No place to park. Stuffed full of customers. Why could we not have bought from them all along? Why are we here now? Its ironic that they are going to get their best trading times in the few days before they close for good.

30-Nov-2009 Add comment

blog comments powered by Disqus Permanent Link

Matthew Norman...

... who lives in the UK, who is not an actor, not a clock manufacturer, did not write a rough guide to cuba and also has never written for the Telegraph. I have written books on coldfusion and web databases.

(c) somewhere in space and time: M.Norman