The Borders Group has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and thousands of Borders outlets around the country will soon be shutting their doors. That's the news this week from Borders HQ, which blamed a harsh economy and a harsher market for old-fashioned books. (Read: the incredible success of Amazon and e-readers such as Kindle.)
"Because of the ongoing impact of the difficult US economy, coupled with the rapidly changing bookselling environment, we must restructure Borders and reposition our business for long-term success," Borders president Mike Edwards wrote in a letter to Rewards customers this week. "We determined that the best path for Borders to have the ability to achieve this reorganization is through the Chapter 11 process, which Borders commenced February 16."
So is your local Borders outlet affected by this whole mess? To find out, check out the handy – and depressingly long – list compiled by the Wall Street Journal. In the meantime, those Borders customers who long ago forewent paper-and-glue books for the cold plastic of an e-reader can rest safe. According to Edwards, Borders.com, at least for the time being, "is operating as usual."
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Ditto for the Kobo, the e-reader sold by Borders and manufactured by the Canadian company Kobo. In a blog post published yesterday, Kobo sought to assure users that "nothing" had changed. "Your ebook library is perfectly safe," the company wrote. "The Borders ebook experience is powered by Kobo, an entirely separate company from Borders. Kobo is financially secure and will continue to maintain your ebook library no matter what happens."
Unfamiliar with the Kobo? Check out our previous coverage here. In the meantime, dear Technophiles, make sure to sign up for the free weekly Innovation newsletter. The newsletter, which includes all sorts of tech and gadget news, is emailed out every Wednesday morning.