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How I Single-Handedly Destroyed Borders

By Clogsandtulips @clogsandtulips
How I Single-Handedly Destroyed BordersOkay, so maybe "single-handedly" is a bit of a stretch. But I'm not so naive that I don't realize that I had something to do with the demise of Borders Books.
As I wandered the sparse aisles of the Borders in Frederick, Maryland on my visit to the US last week, it occurred to me that I was the reason for the "Closing Sale" signs, the slashed prices, the shelves picked clean by greedy bargain hunters.
Yes, seeing the Borders I loved for so many years in such a state saddened me beyond belief. And, yes, I had gone to this closing sale specifically to pay homage to Borders, what it was, and what it meant to me. But had I done things differently -- had we all done things differently -- it may not have ended this way.
While I'm still a print snob who would rather sell her soul than purchase a Kindle or a Nook, I'm just as guilty as the e-readers and the e-reader readers. Because I fell into the Amazon trap. Every purchase made via Amazon is a purchase that could have supported a local bookstore or bookselling chain.
I do pay visits to the English sections of De Slegte and Selexyz here in the Netherlands, occasionally wander over to the American Book Center in The Hague or Amsterdam, and find myself every now and then roaming the English Bookstore in Amsterdam. But sometimes they don't have what I'm looking for. And, I admit, sometimes an online purchase is simply much more convenient that trekking to a brick and mortar bookstore.
To make matters worse, it's not just my Amazon habit. I was attributing to the failure of Borders long before I had ever heard of Amazon. I'm cheap. I'm a bargain hunter.
As much as I loved Borders, I loved Wonderbook and Video even more. At Wonderbook, I could buy three or four used books for less than a paperback at Borders. It wasn't always easy to find titles I wanted, but losing myself among the piles of old books was more than half the fun.
And then there were yard sales, library sales -- heck, even libraries themselves! Even on Amazon, I'm no help to the authors and publishers because I only purchase used books I can get for a few cents apiece.
Yes, I am to blame for the downfall of Borders Books. It's something I'm not proud of and I'm so terribly sad to see Borders fall. But, if I could do it all over again, I'm sure I wouldn't change a thing.
Did you single-handedly destroy Borders? How did you do it? Do you feel remorse or could you not care less?
Image: Joelk75, Flickr
© 2011 Tiffany Jansen, writer

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