Today Borders stores will begin liquidating their wares. Liquidation, that's a depressing word; very final. The closure of a national chain that sells something as beloved as books and the layoffs of 10,700 people generally elicits feelings of nostalgia and sadness. But, even Gizmodo's Brian Berrett, who very badly wanted to make fun of the dying bookstore feels a little bit bad about it all. "Just when the snarkbot in me wanted to giggle at Borders like a great big jerk, they go and send this genuinely heartfelt farewell message. In summary: they got their butts kicked, and they're sorry. So am I." We may feel sorry for Borders. But should we really feel that bad for them? No. They did themselves in, and others will benefit from their dissolution.
Many, including Borders, have attributed the closure of the chain to the inevitable demise of bookstores as digital retail dominates the market. "The headwinds we have been facing for quite some time, including the rapidly changing book industry, e-reader revolution and turbulent economy, have brought us to where we are now," Borders President Mike Edwards said in its corporate communication note about the impending closure. A series of technological and cultural shifts has caused the store's demise, it's obvious to The Atlantic's Derek Thompson. "And now, 40 years after Borders Book Shop opened, Borders Inc. is closing, undone by a perfect storm of book digitization, the growth of Amazon, and an inability to turn a brick-and-mortar company into a zeros-and-ones business"