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Borders Bankruptcy: The Beginning of the End for Children's Books?

Borders Bookstore

One of the largest book chains plans to close about 200 stores

While at age 2 my daughter can’t read, she still takes a few books into bed with her after getting tucked in, and by the reflection of her night light, she flips through the pages and tells herself the stories, usually with my husband and I listening in on the baby monitor and chuckling at her interpretation of Knuffle Bunny or Sleeping Beauty.

I adore my Kindle to no end, but nothing can replace an actual children’s book. Beyond the words and pictures on the page, sometimes it’s simply the experience of holding the book, turning the pages, tucking it under their arm while they march off with it to the potty, and running their fingers along the rows of spines on the shelves in a library or bookstores that makes memories.

It was announced today that Border Group has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with plans to close about 200 of its 659 stores. While the move doesn’t come as a surprise to the experts on Wall Street, it’s still a sad day when fewer books will be available to readers. While it used to be the death of independent booksellers that was mourned by so many, now there are fears that even the big box stores are in danger of extinction.

E-books really are life-changing, but how does a toddler cuddle up with a Kindle, Nook or iPad in bed at night? How different will the experience be when your kid goes to the library for story hour and the librarian holds up something electronic instead of something paper for the little ones sitting on the floor?

Let’s hope that as electronic books continue to rise in popularity, people will still remember the good old-fashioned books in the meantime and make a serious effort to support big and small booksellers so that our grandkids don’t grow up thinking of books the way we think of 8-track tapes and our kids think of vinyl records relics of a time gone by.

Do you think the death of books is inevitable?

Image: Wikipedia

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