The Washington Post

Borders bids a ‘fond farewell,’ says it lost the fight with e-readers


Borders CEO Mike Edwards said the e-reader revolution and a changing industry doomed the book retailer. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Edwards didn’t beat around the bush when it came to his explanation of Borders’ decline. He said the company faced the rise of e-readers, a changing book industry and an overall bad economy, adding, “We put up a great fight, but regrettably, in the end, we weren’t able to overcome these external forces.”

Borders closed dozens of its stores — including several in the D.C. area — in January, my Post colleague Michael Rosenwald reported. Late to the game with e-readers, the company never saw the same success with digital books as its archrival Barnes and Noble has with the Nook, and fell too far behind Amazon’s Kindle to compete.

For those who love books and reading, there’s a certain sadness that comes with reading the company’s final goodbye today, which seems as sentimental and heartfelt as a corporate communication can be.

“My sincerest hope is that we remain in the hearts of readers for years to come,” Edwards wrote.

There is a bit of news to cushion the blow for bibilophiles: Borders final sales start today, July 22, and everything in the store is up to 40 percent off.

For those wondering, gift cards will be honored during the liquidation sale and Borders Rewards Plus members will be able to use their gift cards through Aug. 5. Borders Bucks, which are similar to gift cards, will expire on July 31.

Related stories:

Rosenwald, Md.: For a Borders book group, the story goes on

Borders struggles amid rapid changes in book sales

Bankruptcy court judge approves Borders auction

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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