Friday, July 22, 2011

Borders bookstores' final chapter

Is there a place for bookstores in a society where the most avid readers keep their Kindle (or Nook or Kobe or iPad) in their backpack and order books through the ether? This is the question that our community has been discussing since Borders announced it would be closing its last remaining (399) bookstores. Analyses by the Chicago Tribune and the online magazine Slate indicate that the chain made the fatal mistake of focusing more on their brick-and-mortar locations than on the Internet. By the time they attempted to enter the online marketplace in a real way, Amazon and Barnes and Noble had already established themselves securely. Even though Barnes and Noble still faces challenges, it gets a healthy percentage of its income from online sales--something that Borders never managed to do.

While we don't see ourselves going the way of Borders any time soon, the huge chain's experience does challenge us. After all, we have put a great deal of effort and expense into our small national "chain" of Pauline Book & Media Centers, centers our Founder loved to speak of as "not stores, but pulpits from which the Word of God reaches people."

Have you visited our Michigan Ave. location or recommended it to others?

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