When I was at Barnes & Noble on Wednesday, I heard someone mention Borders's financial problems. Sure enough, NPR did a story on Borders filing bankruptcy.
I have to say, after hearing last year that Barnes & Noble was struggling, I am relieved now that Borders is taking the fall instead — and that Barnes & Noble seems to be doing better, thanks to the Nook. My husband and I have often discussed the difference between Barnes & Noble, and why we like it more than Borders. One of the biggest reasons I can see is that Barnes & Noble feels more like a bookstore, whereas Borders is more of a media store — much more of their store is dedicated to movies and music. I know Barnes & Noble sells movies, music, and even kids' toys, but they stash their non-book sections in the back of the store, so that there is nothing to disrupt the bookish feel when you walk in the door. Borders has always felt to me more like Media Play (remember them?), and has lacked that welcoming feel that I get from a bookstore.
Borders will be closing 200 stores, but they'll still be around. In fact, the NPR story says they are still hoping to be a "vibrant national retailer of books — and other products." Sounds to me like they haven't learned a thing.