Where Did All Of The Books Go?

Yesterday I was running an errand near the local mall. I had not gone out there recently. While I was waiting to meet a friend I decided to stop by the massive Borders store shown in this picture.
I had not been to that Borders for at least six months or so. Last year at Christmas time I had a book signing at that store for my book “Expiation.” It was the second book signing I had at that store. The first one had been in the fall of 2010.
I decided to stop by Borders to see if by chance they still had some of my books on their shelves. To my surprise, they didn’t have anybody’s books on their shelves. The gigantic Borders was gone.
I then remembered that Borders had been in Chapter 11 and was closing a lot of stores. I really never connected the dots and thought about this Borders near my home. I guess we always think these things happpen some where else.
It occurred to me that the reason I was surpised to see that Borders store closed is that I hadn’t thought about Borders at all for several months. I used to be a regular browser of that bookstore. I had made a lot of trips there to grovel and beg for the book signing.
At one point a couple of years ago, it was my goal to see my books in that Borders store. I was delighted that I got to have two book signings there. It was a real rush to walk into that store and see posters for my book. I remember looking at people standing in a long line just before Christmas and seeing that among their purchases was my book.
However, I now have a Kindle and am firmly into the e book world as a reader. As a writer, I am concentrating on the social network marketing of my books and the focus on my new book next month will be for Kindle, Nook, iPad and other e book readers.
I have discovered that it has been a long time since I even thought of the local Borders store. The same could be said for the two big Barnes and Noble stores near my home. The world is changing.
There are a variety of reasons behind Borders’ demise. They were outflanked by Barnes and Noble for quality but more significantly Borders was left behind in the e book revolution. Additionally, the book business is very competitive and we are in a brutal economic climate.
I was surprised by the shuttered Borders store yesterday but I shouldn’t have been. Whether they closed or not, the reality is that I wasn’t planning to go there and I wasn’t planning to buy anything there.
I have changed. So has the book world.


About gregmessel

I've written six novels and am working on a seventh. My first three novels were "Expiation," "Sunbreaks" and "The Illusion of Certainty." I'm now working on a series of mysteries set in San Francisco in the 1950s. In 2008, I retired from corporate life and so I can spend more time writing. I spent over ten years in the newspaper business. I now live on Puget Sound in Edmonds, Washington, just north of downtown Seattle.
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