At the Atlantic, Peter Osnos has a great post on the decline of Borders, the Ann Arbor-based bookstore that recently has announced it will delay payments to book publishers for books already purchased. Such unprecedented actions have signaled to many industry observers that Borders may not be from a bankruptcy filing. AnnArbor.com recently interviewed University of Michigan Law School Professor John Pottow on this very topic.
I'm torn on the continued existence of Borders. I'm fairly opposed to chain bookstores, as they have in some instances driven small independent bookstores out of business (no, I haven't yet gotten over the loss of Shaman Drum). On the other hand, bookstores - no matter what kind they are - provide vital services to communities, in my opinion. Growing up in the Detroit suburbs I spent many afternoons reading, browsing, and studying at the Borders on Woodward Avenue. It'd be a shame if Ann Arbor lost another bookstore or if the company was forced to lay off local workers.