Borders books is going out of business. That makes me really sad. That means one less place to peruse the shelves, have a cup of coffee, and yes, buy books. It’s been a long time since I’ve bought a print book. I buy everything in e-book format now, and a lot of people I know do the same. Hence, Borders is going out of business. Perhaps in five years owning a bookstore will be like owning a record store today. I hope not.
I’ll leave it to business gurus to perform the autopsy on Borders. However, Barnes and Noble seemed to embrace the e-book revolution much better. They came up with their own e-reader and e-book library. The Nook section of their stores takes up an increasingly sizable and prominent portion. Borders never made the transition. Perhaps they made the mistake of thinking they were in the book-selling business, when in reality they were in the customer service business. Books were just the medium. So, when the customer zagged, Borders didn’t go with them.
There is a lesson for churches here. We can’t go everywhere the community wants to go. However, we need to understand what we’re about, and recognize when we need to transition.
Last night, I stumbled on a Borders…probably for the last time. EVERYTHING in the store was being sold at steep discounts. Other than the presence of the cashiers, the scene resembled a looting. The store was a mess as people skowered the shelves for deals. I jumped in, realizing I could get extra copies of books I’d wanted to share with others at steep discounts. So, I darted around the store. The bibles were pretty much gone. So were the Moleskin journals. The Christianity section was also largely vaporized. However, I thought it was telling which books I looked for next.
Here were six books for leaders I darted to the shelves looking for:
- Good to Great, by Jim Collins.
- A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix, by Edwin Friedman.
- Getting Things Done, by David Allen.
- Leadership and Self-Deception, by the Arbinger Institute
- Now Discover Your Strengths, by Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni
It was like one of those crazy hypotheticals: you can only take 6 books with you onto a desert island…which would you take?
Other than the Bible and mainstream Christian books (all removed from the shelves already), which books would you look for next? Which books do you want to share with others?