Thursday, February 17, 2011

Borders in Matteson is closing!

(originally posted on facebook by Kevin Roberts)

I am actually saddened to learn that the Borders bookstore in Matteson is closing. While we have had to compete against them at some level, the broader implication that readership is declining is troubling. To be sure, the advent of e-readers and e-books has played a role in eroding their customer base, but it is also an indication of how large corporations must juggle the demands of Wall Street with that of their customers and suppliers. We’ve all seen that struggle played out across the United States in a big way over the last few years.

Before I became an independent bookseller, I was a Borders customer. Like many of you, I enjoyed the opportunity to peruse the shelves while contemplating when I would settle down at a table with my cup of coffee and the stack of books I was considering. Even though the Matteson Borders eclipsed us in size and volume, they were aware of our presence and would actually send customers our way from time to time, when they were not able to serve them. We appreciate them for that.

At Azizi Books, we also feel the pain exacted by an unforgiving economy. However, by paying attention to what we do best, by providing great service, and by staying committed to the community that we live in, we persist. We don’t take it for granted when you choose us. During the month of February, for our Customer Appreciation Sale, we have discounted most of the books in the store, to make it easier for you to make that choice.

Buy local and grow your community. Thank you for your support of this, and other, independent bookstores.

Kevin Roberts
Azizi Books

1 comment: said...

This short piece reveals some very complex issues. Long story short the insatiable demand, by Wall Street, for ever increasing profits is broad and deep. I've on been a involved in publishing for 15 years and the environment, for Black books, has gotten progressively worse in the over the last 10 years.

There are fewer independent book stores, websites, and magazines focused on Black books. The most prominent of these that remain are not black owned and are more concerned with revenue than culture. As a result the coverage of our books tend to skew more toward celebrity, and scandal.

Kevin, keep on the look out for efforts underway to support Black literature ABLE (Alliance for Black Literature & Entertainment).

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