With Borders announcing bankruptcy today and closing many, many stores, is this the beginning of the end of the big box book retailers?
Borders and Barnes and Noble both have consolidated their brands, Barnes and Noble closed their B. Dalton stores in 2010. B.Dalton was founded by the Dayton Corporation in Minnesota in 1966 with the Edina location being it's first store; Borders closed most of their Waldenbooks stores in 2009. Competition from discounters such as Amazon and Walmart have hurt these two big box book retailers.
So, will there be a resurgence of independent book stores? An article in USA today last week http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/news/2011-02-10-1Abookstores10_CV_N.htm talks about this very subject. Used books stores have spiked in popularity and some Barnes and Noble locations have used book sections to tap into this market.
Barnes and Noble and Borders within the past year even considered merging. The e-reader competition is fierce - from Amazon, iPads and others, something Borders doesn't have. BN has it's Nook.
Interestingly enough, the readers poll on my blog currently shows an overwhelming preference to hardcover and paperback. Although the readers poll is a very very small sampling, one wonders what the reading landscape will look like in 3-5 years. Will we see fewer public libraries or more? As technology continues to advance, will readers toss the paperbacks or hardcovers for electronic reading methods?
What ever the case may be, here's hoping that readers either donate to libraries or re-sell at used bookstores and I believe that people will still enjoy the bookstore experience, buying a new or used book, paperback or hardcover.