Loyal Borders customers who are not fans of reading books on iPads and other electronic devices will soon have to look elsewhere to shop around for books by their favorite authors, after the company announced that all their stores will be closed by September, partly because of the rise in e-reader sales.
Many of shoppers who strolled into the Borders in Syosset on Wednesday said they were disappointed to hear that the book giant will be closing its doors in the near future.
“I love Borders…I love books,” said Aurora Martinez of the Bronx. As she was flipping through bargain books outside the store, Martinez said she doesn’t like reading books on electronic devices and said paper books are easier for kids to relate too.
Andy Esposito, an editor for the magazine NY Mets Inside Pitch, agreed, saying he rather hold a real book in his hands instead of navigating pages with an e-reader. “I’m old fashioned,” he said.
He speculated that the combination of a tough economy and easy access to books through electronic devices might have contributed to the collapse of the bookstore.
The Michigan-based company announced Monday that they will liquidate all their assets and close 399 stores and eliminate 10,700 jobs. In a statement, Borders President Mike Edwards said the e-reader “revolution, and turbulent economy, have brought us to where we are now.”
“For decades, Borders stores have been destinations within our communities, places where people have sought knowledge, entertainment, and enlightenment and connected with others who share their passion,” he continued. “Everyone at Borders has helped millions of people discover new books, music, and movies, and we all take pride in the role Borders has played in our customers’ lives. I extend a heartfelt thanks to all of our dedicated employees and our loyal customers.”
The announcement by the book chain comes days after the company Najafi Cos. declined to bid on Borders, which would have kept some of the companies 399 stores in business. Earlier this year the retailer closed down their Commack and Westbury locations after filing for bankruptcy protection in February.
There are six remaining Borders on Long Island, including the Syosset location. Stores across the nation can close as soon as Friday, while others will close their doors by September.
Borders didn’t return calls for comment requesting information as to when the Long Island locations will close.
At the Syosset location, customers browsed the aisles of the store while others planted themselves at the retailers popular café area where customers drink coffee and type away on their laptops.
“I’m very upset about,” the store closing, said Renne Rosenthal of Syosset. “It’s like a community center,” she said of local shoppers who meet at the store.
Merrick resident Marge Suntop was listening to the radio when she found out Borders was closing, and said she let out an expletive after processing the news.
“I like the feel of books,” she said, but unlike other customers walking into the store, Suntop said she’s open to the idea of e-readers after talking to friends who use the different devices like the Kindle, Nook and Borders’ Kobo.
“It’s definitely the wave of the future,” she said.