Everyone lives by selling something.—Robert Louis Stevenson
Last Friday, Borders bookstores began a giant liquidation sale. Sounds tempting. But booklovers should skip this sale. First off, it’s not that good of a deal. Despite “going out of business” hype, Time Magazine reports that the “clearance” prices at Borders are not that different than those at other bookstores—some of Border’s prices have even gone up!
More important, the lengthy liquidation of Borders inventory is forecast to hurt independent stores and other book chains. Even though the discounts aren’t that great, the hype could divert traffic and dollars from nearby bookstores. Imagine if even your newest inventory were being advertised across town at bargain prices. Oh, and you won’t be able to get your caffeine fix, as Seattle’s Best has closed all of its in-store cafes.
Finally, the proceeds from this liquidation will not help out Borders employees. The money will instead go to the very investors and creditors who at the eleventh hour bet against Borders’s future. These creditors rejected an offer to sell Borders as an ongoing business to the owners of the Book-Of-The-Month-Club. Instead, they opted to sell for a higher price to a liquidation firm. That’s right, they decided Borders and its people were less valuable to them than the stripped assets. They say you vote with your dollar, and I don’t really want to give them one dime—even if that dime bought me a hardcover book, which it probably wouldn’t.
So why not find a new bookstore to love? To find an independent bookstore near you—click here. If there’s no indie nearby, then try out another bookstore chain—at least you will be investing in your local reading community. If you are sad about losing Borders, the best thing you can do is walk into another bricks-and-mortar bookstore and buy a book. It’s great biblio grief therapy.
Read the Rebuttal: A Former Borders’ Employee Says Shop the Sales