Borders goes bankrupt as net takes its toll

Book chain Borders Group applied for Chapter 11 protection today and will close around 200 bookshops in the USA soon.

With debts of $1.29 billion and assets of $1.28 billion it’s clear it had to do something – it had struggled to come up with an alternative credit line.

The biggest losers, of course, will be book publishers – they’re also the biggest creditors and include Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin and Hatchette.

Many believe that book publishers are actually to blame for the demise of bookshops that are places you can browse rather than warehouses in an industrial estate.

Publishers, caught gasping for breath after the success of Amazon, decided to give the online store far bigger discounts than your ordinary bookshop gets. It’s not the rise of e-books that’s the problem – just that book publishers, rather like print publishers, just aren’t able to comprehend the power of the internet to disrup their businesses.