When I was in my doctoral program, one of my fellow students and still wonderful friend was an advocate for the independent bookseller. I could see her point, so I tried to give my hard earned cash to the independent stores, keeping the conglomerates at bay for a few years. As commerce happens, the little stores started dropping in number until they became as extinct as the paper library cards with handwritten return dates. At least this is the way it was in Modesto, CA. My friend lived near San Francisco, so had wider choices.
Now the big boys are in trouble. Borders Books, the 2nd largest bookstore chain in the U.S. has filed for bankruptcy. Borders had 6,100 employees in 508 stores nationwide, but plans to close 30% of them in an attempt to get their edge back.
What is crushing them is basically technology. Barnes and Noble, numero uno in the biz, and Amazon.com have a much heftier supply of e-titles.
As the saying goes, “What goes around, comes around.” There are probably a number of former independent bookstore sellers who are not disappointed with the news.