I’ll Miss You, Borders

I’m late writing about this. Everyone probably already knows Borders is closing, right? And while anyone who’s been paying attention the last couple of years probably isn’t shocked, it’s disappointing nonetheless.

I have a tiny indy bookstore near me I like to frequent, but sometimes I just like to go and lose myself in a big bookstore where I can physically browse a lot of books. Touch is actually quite important to my book-buying experience. I loved that I could buy a coffee or chai tea, sit in a comfy chair, and go through a stack of books trying to make up my mind which ones I wanted to buy. The comfort. The familiarity. I will miss it.

The cautionary tale of a big corporation failing to jump on the newest industry bandwagon and, therefore, losing customers and declining into bankruptcy is, perhaps, oversimplified. But it’s also an interesting commentary on our lightning-fast consumer society. Who knows what the next big fad will be? How does one judge the qualities that turn a fad into a standard? Bet the honchos at Borders wish they knew.

As a writer (not just as a reader), I’ve been watching the Borders scenario and wondering how this will effect my future career. I’ve blogged before about my love for actual, physical books. But I’ve begun to realize that ebooks shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand.

There’s a smokin’ hot discussion going on amongst writers and others in the publishing community regarding ebooks and whether or not it makes more sense to by-pass traditional publishing and go right for self-publishing to ebooks. See this for the LA Times article on John Locke, the indy author who sold 1 million ebooks on Amazon and here for author J.A. Konrath’s take on all this.

I’ve decided to keep my eyes and ears open on all the new publishing developments, but, for now, I have a novel to finish.

As a reader, I guess I will just have to drive a bit further for my big bookstore experience and get used to a new place. It would be awesome if they have comfy chairs, too.

How do you feel about Borders closing? How about ebooks and self-publishing?

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4 comments on “I’ll Miss You, Borders

  1. It wasn’t a surprise to me when Borders went out of business. The closest Borders to me was one of the first closed. It had been in such bad shape for years that I’m more surprised it stayed open as long as it did.

    Ebooks vs print. My feelings are mixed. I love books. Their smell, their covers, their feel, even the stains when their used go into the experience. They are also more permanent short of fire or nature catastrophe. Ebooks are not necessarily as permanent and I wonder what happens when you get an upgrade or change devices. Do you lose all your books?

    But I can see the appeal of ebooks. I have thousands of books. When something has to be changed or moved it’s a major event. Or if I want to take more than one book somewhere my purse gets heavy or I have to juggle more than one bag. Whereas with an ebook it’s simply a matter of moving a lightweight device.

    Publishing. There is something of a dichotomy going on here. On one hand you have more options than ever for writers and authors if they’re open to it. On the other the venues for their work is shrinking.

    It’ll be interesting see what we have when all the dust settles in a couple of years. Hopefully it will be a system that is of benefit to writers/authors and readers. A win/win for us all.

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    • ekcarmel says:

      When the first round of Borders closings happened, I hoped it wasn’t an indication of bad things to come. So much for that…

      You and I definitely share the same feelings about books and ebooks and publishing, Angela.

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  2. Dean Wesley Smith just wrote a good blog on what to do for the next few years until the publishing industry settles into its new system of both Print and EBooks.
    As for Borders closing, I only feel sorry for the authors who lost a lot of books (read money) that are now tied up in Border’s assets. Which is another reason to keep away from publishers until we learn who survives the marketing shift from print to both print and ebooks.
    As for us, we keep writing, and keep our books on the web sites, and somehow find the time to blog whatever our readers want to learn about our series and our daily routine of writing. 🙂

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    • ekcarmel says:

      Just read the DWS post and a few others and it’s fascinating stuff Diane. I’m still making up my mind and probably will go back and forth until I have my novel ready. But one can’t ignore the numbers on all this.

      My daughter was so disappointed that TokyoPop in the US, the publisher of English language manga just closed, the reason cited is the Borders demise. There’s a couple of series’ that won’t be finished as a result and she’s pissed. But I think there’s TokyoPop in other countries, so I suspect that eventually those may fill the gap. Or I’m hoping that’s the case.

      That’s right, just keep on writing!

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