“Help, My Bookstore’s Closing!”

If you’ve been following bookselling news for the last few months, you’ve likely heard about Borders’ financial woes.  Last week, after attempting to negotiate with publishers and work out financing plans, they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. If you haven’t been following bookselling news, it might have come as a bit of a shock to hear that Borders will be closing about 200 stores over the coming weeks.

I have a lot of thoughts on this, and its affects on different aspects of the book industry, but that’s not what I wanted to talk about today.  Over the last few days, since the list was announced, I’ve seen a lot of people on my twitter and friendface feeds mentioning that their local store is one of the ones going away.

For all that my rallying cry is “Support your local independent bookstore,” any bookstore closing is a sad one.  For many people, their local Borders was a place they liked spending time.  It was part of their community, a familiar space, and now that’s going away.  I will not dance on those stores’ graves.

The other thing I noticed, though, was that often the people losing a nearby Borders don’t know what other stores are nearby.  This is where I can put on my helpful hat.  If you’re someone who’s looking for a new bookstore to frequent, have you checked the IndieBound store finder? Plug in your address and see what’s nearby!  Edward Champion has also compiled a list of indie alternatives here. Are you in a bit of a bookstore desert?  Before you open up an account with that big online-only store, did you know that you can order books online from an independent bookstore?  Or that the indies have recently signed on with Google eBooks, so you can now download eBooks from them for any device?

I can’t stress this enough:  if you enjoy going to a bookstore to browse, the most important thing you can do in the wake of the Borders closings is to continue supporting bricks-and-mortar bookstores.  Bookselling isn’t dead.  It isn’t going away.  But it needs our support.

Are you affected by the Borders closings?  If not, what are your favorite bricks-and-mortar bookstores to go to?  Not sure what’s in your area, or got a lot of choices from the IndieBound list?  Ask me in the comments and I’ll play bookstore matchmaker!

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