Once an enticing scene for possibilities, Seattle’s Best Coffee and book-healthy shelves that welcomed readers is now merely a barren wasteland. Empty shelves, dust-mites and collective misfortune taint the once flourishing Borders bookstore.
Embedded within their regional communities, Borders bookstores have finally closed the doors to its dedicated readers and long-time customers. “Borders is the bookstore I go to a lot. I was upset and I really don’t like Barnes and Noble; it’s sad [that it’s closing] and they always have discounts and a good feel to the store,” said college student Amelia Ashmall, who was shopping for LSAT books.
Borders was the place many college students, including community members, went to when they needed discounted books and a place to interact with other shoppers. “I honestly felt like NYC didn’t have enough book stores. It’s depressing and I think that we should be opening more not closing—it’s our priority,” said Michael Sullivan, senior. Enthusiastic readers usually sat down in the aisles between bookshelves and read until their hearts content. However, it displeased many of the associates there because it became a disorganized habit.
Some customers are left in deep sorrow and others are unfazed by this change. “I prefer Barnes and Noble to Borders. They always have more things there, unless its better here then I come here. I can only guess they were doing badly with management and prices; marketing was bad too,” said Louis, a banker in the city.
It was a safe-haven for readers, writers, educators, and dreamers; Borders invited best-selling authors to book signings for fans and provided children with activities year-round to keep them occupied and entertained. “I’m shopping for children’s books and toys. I got an e-mail about Borders closing soon and I was sad. I used to go to the Borders in the World Trade Center and I guess they opened too many too soon. Their sales aren’t competitive with Amazon, maybe that’s why they’re closing,” said Betty Hazelnut, regular customer at 34th street.
Borders operated 399 locations across the country and employed approximately 10, 700 employees. Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Borders Group approved the court proposal to handover the company to Hilco and Gordon Brothers. According to news releases on borders.com, “This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.” In compliance, due to bankruptcy, Borders had to liquidate.
“Borders owes the publishers a lot of money. Publishers don’t want to give any books because of that; the bankruptcy court was more towards paying off the creditors,” said Daniel Medina, sales associate at Borders on 34th street. “Workers are trying to find jobs now.”