I’m an avid reader. I like novels and historical fiction. I belonged to a book club when I was young and getting those hard-cover books in the mail every month was kind of like Christmas to me. I didn’t get to pick the titles – they just arrived and from what I can remember, most of them were great.
I like reading so much that many years ago, I decided to get a part-time job so I could have a little time out of the house, away from my 3 young children. I only applied at two places – Barnes and Noble and Borders. I was hired on at Borders and I have to tell you, I loved it.
At that time, you had to take and pass a book test in order to be considered for employment. It was difficult but I guess I passed because they hired me. I loved being around all those books and discussing books with the other employees. I wasn’t a mom or a wife there, I was just someone who loved books. I loved sharing my favorite titles with customers who came in looking for a great recommendation.
And now Borders is in bankruptcy. I suppose this isn’t shocking, but it is really sad. (Is this a sign of what’s in store for other bookstores? Maybe. Probably.)
And I’m partly to blame. I own a Kindle so I don’t buy real books any more. I honestly didn’t think I’d like it – I like the feel and smell of a real book. But I got over it pretty quickly and really love the convenience of the Kindle.
So this is what we call progress: the birth of something new and fabulous along with the decline of something equally fabulous. This is pretty much what has happened throughout history. (Barnes and Noble is faring a little better because they got on the e-reader bandwagon more quickly than Borders.) It’s an adjustment and a lesson to all of us: you better stay current with whatever’s going on out there or risk becoming irrelevant.
So to all you CU marketers – keep your eye on the future, never get complacent and strive to consistently impress and anticipate the needs of your members.