Bookstores across America are closing at rapid rates, including the second largest bookstore chain, Borders. As online purchases overtake many aspects of American culture, even something as established and well-known as bookstores are not safe from being surpassed by technology.
In 2010, Amazon.com made $6.9 billion in media sales alone while Barnes & Noble made $4.4 billion in sales and Borders made $2.3 billion, according to annual reports and company press releases.
“I loved to go to Borders and browse through books. I loved the environment,” said Victoria Moser, a second-year college student. However, she could not remember the last time she had purchased an actual book from an actual store. “It’s so easy and cheap to buy and download books online.”
With the convenience of finding any books instantly, online price comparisons and never having to step foot out of the house, there is no question as to why bookstores are closing across the nation. Why buy a paper book from a store when readers can purchase an electronic book, commonly known as an eBook, with the press of a button on a handheld Kindle?
The recent demand for Kindles, iPads and Nooks continues to skyrocket while the need for paperback books seems to diminish.
Statistics show that paper books may be the dinosaurs of American culture. The Association of American Publishers recorded a record-breaking 164 percent gain in eBook sales for 2010.
As for Borders, the chain owned 1,249 stores in 2003 and now no longer exists.
“I’m so sad to see Borders close. I’m a bookworm and I will have to find a new store where I can buy books to fill my shelves,” says Jessica Connor, a student who lives less then a mile away from the former Puyallup Borders.
She said Borders closing won’t stop her from reading as much as she likes. With so many other bookstores closing, she could join the eBook reading crowd.
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