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Borders Book Stores May Be First Casualty Of E-Readers

by Sean P. Aune | January 3, 2011January 3, 2011 12:00 pm PST

Borders, the second largest chain of bookstores in the United States, has announced that it is stalling payments to publishers, a sure sign that things are not going well for the company.

In a statement released this past Friday, Borders announced that it is stalling payments in an effort to restructure its finances, but it would not guarantee that even that would be successful in saving the company. A company spokeswoman would not reveal to The Wall Street Journal which publishers were involved, how many were impacted or how much money is being deferred.

BordersWhile you can’t completely blame e-readers and e-books for the problems with the chain as it has had issues for some time, the fact that digital books have grown to eight to ten percent of the book market is certainly not helping matters.

Add in that this past August Barnes & Noble, the largest book retailer in the country, put itself up for sale, and you can see that the old system of book selling is definitely on the ropes.  Oddly enough, Borders investor William Ackman wanted to help the company finance a bid to purchase Barnes & Noble for $960 million, but the price was thought to be too low, and there would have also been anti-trust considerations.

There is no word on when Borders will make any further announcements on its financial situation, but things are definitely not looking sunny bright and hopeful for the company as a new year dawns on them.

Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...