The Future of Printed Literature: A Digital Dilemma

e-readersOn July 18, 2011 came the announcement that Borders, the second largest book retailer in the United States would close its doors for good following a chapter 11 filing and the liquidation of more than 200 stores on American soil. Borders, a favorite store of mine since early childhood, didn’t have the financial leverage to keep up with competitors Barnes & Noble and Amazon.
As a young girl entering a Borders store, I came to associate the brand with learning and escapism, and of course the soft lighting, aroma of coffee, and contented people browsing the shelves that were a staple in my local branch. It was a place I came to think of as “mine,” where I could go to focus intensely or lose myself entirely. Later, it became a place I would associate with music as well as literature, as I entered my teenage years and spent equal time in both sections of the store. Borders became a place that I identified as an extension of the literature I held so close to my heart, and thus, the most influential brand of my early years. 20 years after entering a Borders for the first time, I work with words as an editor, and still remember the chain fondly. And perhaps because of my professional position, it comes as no surprise that the chain is closing. [Read more]

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