Well this sucks. Borders has announced that they will be liquidating all of their stores. Around 700 stores will be closing (including Borders Express, Waldenbooks, and Airport stores), and around 19,500 employees will lose their jobs. Yeah, this really sucks. Not only is this devastating for us nerds, but it’s also rough for us here at culture wedge.
For all of us nerds out there, the end of Borders is a sign of things to come. Digital books and e-readers are the new way to go, that we could be seeing Barnes and Noble suffering the same fate somewhere down the road. I’m not one for digital books, granted I haven’t given them a legit chance, but there is just something about holding a book in your hand, turning the pages, physically knowing how much you have left to read instead of a percentage mark at the top of the page. Sure this makes me sound old (I’m only 26 damn it!), but it’s just a personal preference. Quick tangent here, I know the reasons I just gave are similar to when the newspaper companies started scaling back, and heading more towards web. The main difference here to why I don’t care much about what happened to the newspapers vs what’s happening with books, is that news is so instant now with the internet, that newspapers essentially become useless. All the news in the paper is stuff that a majority of people already know.
Now, if I’m correct in thinking that this is the pattern for future book stores, then where does that leave us nerds who love to browse these stores? There are those of us that contribute on this site that love to read fiction, history books, comics, manga, and also books on our favorite directors. We won’t be able to spend hours on end looking through pages of potential purchases. We won’t be able to read the first chapter or first couple pages to see if I want to try out a new author. We won’t be able to find cool stuff we don’t need by browsing sections we necessarily wouldn’t think about if not in front of our faces. Just looking for books online, and receiving them digitally takes away from a bookstore experience that I have come to know and love.
Here at culture wedge, Borders has been a part of our lives. Four of us who contribute here on the site have at one point worked for Borders, and 3 of us worked together at the same store. I have made some great friends through Borders. In fact, I met my girlfriend while working there. She was my manager when I first started, and now, I’m the boss! (If you’re reading this babe, please ignore that last sentence.) I have lots of good memories from working at Borders. From midnight Harry Potter book releases, to reading to little children, to, yes, dealing with customers who came in asking stupid questions (I once had a person come in asking if I knew of a fiction book with a red cover.) I’ll always remember it all with good feelings.
You could even say without Borders, Culture Wedge might not exist. If I had never worked there, I would never have met Brad (our fearless leader), Trev, or Dave, and they, most likely, wouldn’t have met the rest of the writers (or at least know them as well as they do). I don’t think any of us would have known Ping. So, I guess we have Borders to thank for Culture Wedge in a way.
So, I’ll say one final goodbye to the company that pretty much has shaped me into the person I am today. Goodbye to the company that gave me life long relationships. Goodbye to the company that I can honestly say that I’m gonna miss. Goodbye Borders, you’ll be missed.