Whatever Happened To Borders?
I love reading. I love sitting down with a great book and, well, just get lost in it. I'll take a great book over television any day of the week.
And I have a bunch of them, and add to them often. Oh, I wouldn't say I'm a hoarder, but...maybe I have too many.
Anyway, the other night I'm going through some boxes that have some of those books. And I happened onto one that goes back a lot of years, back to the 1980's. Remember a book called 'Lonesome Dove'? If you don't recall the book, you might remember the mini-series. It was a huge hit on TV back in the day. Robert DuVall and Tommy Lee Jones.
As I'm paging through it (900 pages and yep, I re-read it, great!), a book mark fell out. It said 'Borders' with a Rapid City address. It's where I lived back in the day.
Oh yeah, Borders. As I remember, they were in the Mall. A great book store, one of those places I could go into and spend a couple hours just browsing. It seems like there were Borders book stores everywhere. They were doin' good, mighty fine. But wait...
Whatever happened to Borders?
Borders was big. Started in 1971 by the Borders brothers in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the company grew and grew. Kmart acquired the company in 1992 and in fact, as recently as 2010 there were 511 Borders stores in the U.S. alone. There were Borders book stores here there and everywhere. Thousands of people were employed helping people like me track down our favorite books.
But it didn't last. According to Wikipedia the last year Borders showed a profit was 2006.
Were people just reading less? Maybe. Did the advancement of technology mean fewer and fewer people were getting their books out of the traditional brick and mortar stores? Probably. While an old dog like me still loves the feel and smell of a book, the turning of the pages...now of course you can ready anything you want without having that stack of books on the bedside table. Thus, you don't have to walk up and down the book store aisle looking for that latest tome from Stephen King.
And so it was in 2011 the 'B' word was utilized. Bankruptcy. The last 339 retail outlets closed, and by September of that year, the final store in the United States was shuttered.
As for me, there's a big building on the corner of 41st and Louise here in Sioux Falls. There's still some cars in the parking lot and it's the one place I can walk into and spend a blissful hour or two or three. May it forever stand!