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Borders Bookstores Closing for Good

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It is a sad day in the increasingly obsolete world of print media. Borders, the second-largest U.S. bookstore chain, will begin liquidating its remaining 399 stores after failing to receive any bids to save it in talks this week.  The company filed for bankruptcy in February of this year in light of a $36.9 million debt.

“Later the best efforts of all parties, we are saddened by this development,” said Borders President Mike Edwards. “We were all working hard toward a different outcome, but the head winds we have been facing for quite some time, counting the rapidly changing book industry, [electronic booklover] revolution and turbulent economy, have brought us to where we are now.”

The 40-year old bookseller grew from its humble beginnings as an independent used book store in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Borders Inc. and its subsidiary, Waldenbooks Specialty Retail, operated over 650 stores across the U.S, employing almost 20,000 people.

Many speculate that Borders’ demise may speed the decline in sales of hardcover and paperback books as consumers increasingly turn to downloading electronic books on digital readers or having physical books mailed to their doorsteps.

“The liquidation of Borders is an irreplaceable loss of a huge part of the book-discovery ecosystem,” said Michael Norris, a senior analyst at MarketResearch.com.  “Thousands of people whose job consisted of talking up and selling books will eventually be doing something else, and that’s terrible for authors, agents, and everyone associated with the value chain in books.”

The silver lining for fellow book-lovers is the same nail that seals Border’s fate: Liquidation Sales.  Readers can expect to pick up sweet deals on hard copies of their favorite novels, assuming they don’t already have it on their kindles or E-readers.

All surviving Borders stores will be emptied by the end of September.

Images by Daniel Ngu and scazon via Flickr.

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