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What the end of Borders REALLY means

073011_8702 Borders Book Store

Borders may be a thing of the past, but does it mean there’s no market for books anymore? The MobyLives blog of Melville House does some pithy analysis:

Was this whole thing basically a fifteen-year-long advertisement for Amazon?

In a word, no. The story of Borders failure is, first and foremost, a real estate story. Simply, Borders gobbled up a lot of expensive square footage in the real estate boom of the nineties, as did Barnes and Noble, with a seemingly insatiable lust that curdled into craven predatoriness. […] When the economy imploded in 2008, they were locked into severely overpriced space, out of dough, and with a bunch of dunderheads running the show.

It’s that simple. And that tragic — with Borders vaporized only after they put hundreds of independent bookstores out of business, we realize anew why there are laws against monopolies and predatory practices, and how little our government cares about enforcing them. Meanwhile Borders also contributed greatly to the fact that the culture is now mired in a devalued concept of the book, which is that it’s a thing that only matters if it sells hundreds of thousands of units.

That’s the real tragedy, according to MobyLives. (Be sure to read the full post here.)

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