Borders Without Borders


This morning I heard that Borders bookstores are closing, all 399, putting 11,000 people out of work.

I’ve always liked the size of Borders, but for several years I have wondered why they don’t do more to liven up their retail environments. Why didn’t they fight back? The bigger store down the street doesn’t succeed just because of its size.

Here’s my idea of what they should have done: USE THEIR NAME.


A border is the  line across which you step, not the line that keeps you out. If I were the marketing head at Borders bookstores, that concept would drive my campaign, and it would be relentless.

Every week in every store I would have had a book discussion, with or without the author, about a metaphorical border that is crossed in literature. I would have bought full page ads in newspapers or pop-ups on screens with the announcement of that new book in stock that crosses over.

Maybe the book is  about immigration; or maybe it is about Carl Jung and dreams.

Maybe it is about undercover investigation. Maybe it is about being a dog.

Maybe it is about gender confusion, or travel, or being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Maybe it is about finding religion.

GOODBYE, BORDERS (boo-hoo, wahhhh, and doggone) — but never mind: BOOKS are everywhere, and all we need is encouragement to see what’s on the other side. Just as courageous as Alice, we must step through the pages to grow and experience the imaginations of talented people and the realities of a larger world.

Why didn’t BORDERS INC. get it?


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