Borders boarded up

So it really looks like the book chain Borders is about to collapse.

What a shame.

When Borders opened their British flagship store in Oxford Street it was like a breath of fresh air to the book retailing market. Yes Waterstones was always knocking around in the background, but the majority of stores were fusty and dusty like Foyles, or just full of the latest bonkbusters, like WH Smith.

Borders had the most incredible magazine section, filled with magazines I’d never heard of, but loved handling and reading them. They had excellent coverage of most areas and the store was a nice place to be, even without buying.

It’s true that book retailing has changed enormously in the past 10-15 years – driven mostly by Amazon, but surely there is still a space in the market for high quality retail stores focused on books. Foyles has improved beyond measure, and Waterstones are also taking the fight to the supermarkets, so it’s true that the competition has learned from Borders, but their precipitous collapse remains shocking to anyone who has ever enjoyed shopping – and reading – there.

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