Jun 7, 2010

My own worst enemy.

I went ahead and did it.  Even after all my big talk about the sanctity of the written word on paper.  I bought an e-reader.  I'm a sucker for a bargain and woot.com had refurbished Sony E-Readers at a price I couldn't resist.  I have to say, I actually kind of like it.  I bought two ebooks and am about a quarter of the way through the first book.  I like that the other book is sitting in my reader's memory patiently waiting for me to get to it.  My written books on the other hand sit on the shelf looking at me accusingly, wondering when I will get to them.  Wait til they see me with the new ereader.   I'm never going to hear the end of it.

I've come to find out that my purchase has sounded the death knell for book stores the world over.  Including the behemoth Border's Books.  This is not a good thing.  Besides the fact that I love Borders, I have a personal interest in its survival.  Albeit a small interest. 

I convinced my husband a few months ago to let me play around a little bit with the stock market.  He agreed, while making it clear he thought it was more like gambling than investing.  I said that's OK.  I'm a gambler.  I bought a miniscule number of two stocks. 

The first is Activision, game company responsible for Guitar Hero, Modern Warfare and World of Warcraft.  How could this go wrong?  Not long after my investment the developers of one of their most popular games walked out and they are now embroiled in a nasty court battle over royalties.  Strike one. 

The second stock I bought is Borders.  The price dropped to record lows so I figured it was one of those opportunities to buy low and sell high.    The stock initally increased but has since plummeted to even lower record lows.  Not much room left until rock bottom.  Lots of reasons why, financing, getting too big too fast, etc.  I also read that the rapid increase in the number of ebooks is doing quite a bit of damage to book sellers.   Damn, I'm at cross purposes again.  I have to rethink my idea about selling stacks and stacks of my books on half.com.  I don't think Borders can take anymore pressure.


  1. I just bought the Sony Daily Edition e-reader yesterday. Unfortunately, I think my eyes are giving out. I really wanted a touch screen reader with the option to annotate with a stylus, but now the text looks blurry and impossibly small unless I blow it up by about 10. The husband doesn't seem to have any problems with it. So it may have to go back and I'll make do until a a touch screen with better contrast comes along. Sigh. Or I have to get new glasses, which will cost more than the e-reader.

  2. i am wholly unapologetic about my nook.
    i LOVE it.
    i also love reading actual, physical books, but i have no space to put them (someday i will, i have promised myself), but until then, thousands of novels can be stored away in my small little nook, and for that i am grateful.

    i heard a rumor borders will also be jumping in on the ereader game, so hopefully your stock will skyrocket!

  3. You know how I feel....I love, love my Kindle...and the 47 books it is holding at the moment. I also read several hardbacks by Elizabeth Berg that were calling to me. borders will get on the wagon soon I bet.

  4. Did you get the sort that has an internet connection?

    That's really all I can say until I, too, surrender to the suction and climb on board.

  5. I'm resisting temptation...
    And I'm too chicken to play the stocks.
    Time to step out of comfort zone? Me thinks so!

  6. Alice - I had to increase the font size on mine. This messes up the page numbering which disturbs me. How can I be on pg 21 and 22 at the same time. Very unbook-like. I figure I'll get used to it.

    mi - Borders did announce their version but it doesn't seem to be slowing the death spiral.

    Rosemary - I think Borders will adjust and survive.

    Booda - I wish I had the IPad but am holding out until version 2 or a MS version comes out. Whichever comes first.

    Dawn - Now is the perfect time to buy.... ereaders and stocks.

  7. Huh, I wondered how Borders is doing. One of the Borders in our neighborhood (yes, there are two of them in downtown Chicago) was supposed to close in November of last year, but it's still open. I have a feeling, though, that it's only a matter of time...

    It's sad, but true. I, too, love Borders--but I would also love a Kindle. :)

  8. I don't have any room for books either,and I hate that.
    I've taken to reading the books in the clubhouses of our complexes.
    ..Two words..Superconductors!
    One day they come up with one that let's you run the entire house on a 9 volt battery.
    That's where I'd put my disposable cash..You know,..if I actually had any.

  9. I love my Kindle. Despite two rounds of getting rid of books, I still have way too many.

    I don't think that the e-books are the source of Borders' problems; from what I've read, some seriously bad business decisions are.

    I have a wonderful little bookstore in my neighborhood, The Book Cellar, that seems to be doing well, bringing in authors for readings and other events. I suspect that their cafe is their cash cow-- a good business decision.

  10. MHP - Can't we deem them to be too big to fail and bail them out. Not for the stake of my puny investment but for the sake of all the thinkers with no bookstore coffee shop to hang out in.

    Sling - Noted. Superconductors seems like a sound investment. Assuming they create a big black hole that sucks in all known existence before I get my dividend.

    JR - Agreed. I actually work right next to their world HQ. Witnessed two layoffs over the past two years. You know it's about to happen when you see all the hired security in the parking lot.

  11. All the big booksells see the writing on the wall, and are currently (or soon to) selling their own version of a reader.
    They'll soon go the way of the music store...too bad, I love books...

  12. I think I will finally give up if browsing amongst bookshelves and piles of specials is reduced to flicking through electronic titles...nodt while I am on the right side of the grass - a world without real books...nah!!!there is the tactile thing of touching and feeling -
    hopefully enough of us will be around in the years to come to keep the stores open...maybe both can exist side by side...says she hopefully