Sunday, February 20, 2011

Reading matters

From Wired News...

Borders, which pioneered the idea that a bookstore could be more like a combination of a library and your living room — a welcome place to hang out and browse and relax and not just buy — filed for bankruptcy protection last week. The [American] chain is a victim of the harsh realities of operating a massive bricks and mortar operation as your product turns to bytes. Whether Borders thrives or disappears in the coming years, it is a poster child of life in the age of media disruption. 

This is radical discontinuous change which knows no borders (sorry about the pun). On the left is a Munich branch of the Hugendubel chain devoted to English language books. It is where I buy all my paperbacks. In fact it was here that the chain was founded in 1893. The branch is set to close next year.

And yet it strikes me that such processes are probably very much in the inevitable nature of things. The photo at the top shows that what became a Borders bookstore was once very proudly the Varsity, a cinema in Palo Alto, California, which opened in 1927 and where the last movie was shown in 1994.

Yes, that's Palo Alto, where Facebook and Hewlett-Packard have their headquarters and where near the cinema on University Avenue Google, Logitech and PayPal had their incubation phase.

It makes you think..

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