It’s tricky to field Borders-related comments and questions from customers, and even trickier to figure out how to reach out to Borders customers as an indie bookseller, without seeming graceless or unworthily triumphant. It is not a good thing to lose bookstores from neighborhoods, regardless of their provenance, and seeing good people lose their jobs through no fault of their own is truly disheartening.
And yet, there is an opportunity here that bricks-and-mortar stores can’t ignore: the opportunity to reach a new audience, a soon-to-be unserved audience. We want to bring them into the bookstores that are still standing — OUR bookstores, full of deep book knowledge and expertise and amazing selection — instead of relinquishing them to online sales gobblers that don’t put money back into the communities of their customers.
How do we do that most effectively, and without any schadenfreude?