This week's Sunday paper had an article in it about Borders' financial woes. This popular book store has been in business for over 40 years and at one point was booming above all others in the book business. In fact, according to the article, they were even leaders in book sales for a short time because of the great deals they offered their patrons. Now like so many other businesses today, they are facing bankruptcy and maybe even closure because of an apparent inability to keep up with the times.
For Borders and even smaller book stores, competition is undeniably rough right now. The options for reading enthusiasts out there are endless. Not only do you have websites like Amazon.com, who sell books at great prices, but every day new technologies are popping up that make book buying and reading simple, inexpensive, and extremely convenient.
Popular reading devices like Amazon's Kindle or even Barnes and Nobles Nook enable people to purchase great reads right from the comfort of their own home. Many downloads are free, and online competition for book sales allow customers to find prices suitable to their budgets.
Of course, on the spot downloads are not the only advantage to owning one of these great little pieces of equipment. Many come with all sorts of neat features. For example, for those who enjoy the learning curve of reading, words with unclear meanings can be highlighted, clicked and then instantly defined - never even having to leave your seat to grab a dictionary.
I have to admit, I don't have a Kindle or a Nook, but I do have a Sony Reader. My sweet husband bought it for me for Christmas. It doesn't have all the fancy bells and whistles of the aforementioned devices, but it is awesome. I love it and as much as I enjoy the feel of a new book in my hands, or the smell of an antiquated classic, I certainly enjoy the convenience of being able to get a new book the second I finish one. Let's face it, with four children, simply hopping in my car to go to the bookstore or library is not always an option for me.
Of course, these reading devices are only a drop in the bucket of new technologies in the reading world. There are now downloads for iPods and MP3 players, the fancy new Apple iPad e-readers, and of course, who could forget e-books? Without a doubt there's something as simple or as fancy as any individual's preferences out there.
For loyal Borders customers, there's good news. Most of their stores will remain open for a while. Hopefully, they can jump in on the technology bandwagon and boost up enough sales to make it through these tough economic times. And of course, for those who love to read, the sky is the limit!