Within two months, Borders no longer will exist in Stamford. The word from the bookseller’s corporate headquarters is that the store will close by the end of May. That’s sad news for Stamford resident Angela Malizia, who frequents the High Ridge Road store.
“I’m sad about Borders' closing. Even though it’s a chain, I think the store is small enough where it has a kind of hometown feel,” said Malizia, founder of Backyard Humanitarian. “The employees are helpful and friendly, and I usually run into someone I know. I could spend hours browsing through many different subjects. I love to buy books for myself and as presents for others.”
Borders has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. A first round of about 200 store closures throughout the country – including in Wilton — was announced in February. It did not include the Stamford store. News of the Stamford closing came Thursday, when a second round was announced. The Borders in Fairfield was also on that second list.
“These stores are where we could not work out deals with landlords,” said Borders spokeswoman Rosalind Thompson. She said Borders exercised a pending option with the latest closings. “When we closed the first 200, at that time we had an option with the liquidators to add another 75 by mid-March.”
Stores targeted for closure were considered underperforming. Technology might be at least partly to blame, with e-books rising in popularity, according to reports.
“I hope this doesn’t mean all bookstores will soon be gone,” said Malizia. “I understand e-books are becoming more popular, but I still like holding a book in my hands and turning the pages. I don't like to think of a world with only e-books.
“I cherish the books passed down through the generations in my family because I know they were read by my ancestors and kept in their homes. Older books are so interesting because they have a history all their own. It’s the kind of connection to the past that we just won’t be able to get from an e-book.”
Do you think there will be more closings of traditional bookstores as readers increase their use of e-books? Or do you think there are factors in addition to, or other than, e-books coming into play?