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7.18.2011

Ah, Shoot...

Borders, which declared bankruptcy back in January, will now liquidate assets in its last 400 stores. Layoffs will total in the thousands. Adding 10,000 workers back into our struggling economy is bad.

Shutting down another of the viable avenues for writers and readers to connect is also bad.

This paragraph really stands out in the article:

Publishers said with Borders gone, they would plan for smaller print runs and shipments. Employees at major publishing houses worried that layoffs could be imminent, as many companies have dedicated staff members that work only with Borders.

One of my friends back in Oregon used to work for Borders. At one time, the climate there in the store was pretty good: staff had some autonomy and control, and they worked hard to encourage writers to drop by and give readings and sign books. They did a lot of community outreach in Portland, a place that's crazy about books anyway, and the people there were receptive.

But the tides turned and Borders suffered from the same corporate malaise that seems typical of many floundering companies. My friend went on to greener pastures at a different bookstore.

It's a sad day for the world of letters. Here's to hoping Books-A-Million and Barnes & Noble step up to fill the void left by the chains, and that our great independent shops see some business funneled their way as a result of this news.

Probably need to go hit the Bookmark, in Atlantic Beach tomorrow, just to pick up a title. If anyone has a suggestion for a quick beach read (dark speculative fiction, preferably), I'd love some tips...

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