Yes, we writers love independent bookstores. I myself have sold a ton of books at the independent bookstores listed below in the right hand column of this blog, but I also have done signings at Borders and Barnes & Noble. A manager at the Borders in downtown Palo Alto was impressed with how many Dot Deads they were selling and sent an email to the managers of all the Bay Area Borders stories. Thanks to him, I did about ten signings of up to 70 books a session at local Borders stores.
So, what's my point? No matter how much we love the independents, it cannot be good news that Borders is in financial trouble. Its stock is down 75% in the last year. A story in the Times this morning cites competition from Wal-Mart and Amazon.com as a reason for Borders' difficulties. The company took out an emergency loan at 12.5% interest to avoid "liquidity problems."
According to the news stories, Barnes & Noble, the country's largest bookseller, is the obvious candidate to take Borders over. Such a merger/takeover would mean less competition and shuttering hundreds of bookstores, a scary prospect indeed to anyone who wants to sell lots of their books and to anyone who wants to buy them.