Borders Goes Out of Business

  • Aired:  08/16/11
  •  | Views: 27,825

John Hodgman suggests that bookstores replace their old-fashioned bookshelves with beautiful, well-appointed downloading pods. (5:45)

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

WELCOME BACK!

BOOKS.

BOOKS.

YOU MAY KNOW THEM AS THE THING

AMAZON TELLS YOU YOU MIGHT BE

INTERESTED IN WHEN YOU'RE BUYING

D.V.D.s.

(LAUGHTER)

BUT DID YOU KNOW THAT BOOKS USED

TO BE AVAILABLE IN WHAT WERE

CALLED POST OFFICE BOOKSTORES?

WELL, THEY WERE.

>> BORDERS IS GOING OUT OF

BUSINESS.

>> BORDERS COULD NOT KEEP UP

WITH 21st CENTURY TECHNOLOGY AND

TRENDS.

>> THE LATEST BREAK AND MORTAR

VICTIM OF A DIGITAL AGE.

>> NOW WHERE AM I GOING TO

RETURN ALL MY BOOKS FOR STORE

CREDIT?

FOR MORE WE TURN TO RESIDENT

EXPERT JOHN HODGMAN.

JOHN HODGMAN, LADIES AND

GENTLEMEN.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

LET ME ASK YOU, HOW CAN THE

BELOVED BOOKSTORE, AN

INSTITUTION, COMPETE WITH THE

DOWNLOADING AND MAIL ORDER OF

THE BOOK?

>> WELL, JON, IT'S NOT GOING TO

BE EASY.

SUPREME GOTTEN USED TO THE

CONVENIENCE OF HAVING BOOKS

DELIVERED RIGHT TO THEM.

IF BOOKSTORES WANT TO COMPETE

THEY HAVE TO GIVE THE CUSTOMERS

A BETTER HOME EXPERIENCE SO THEY

CAN GET IN THEIR OWN HOMES.

>> Jon: SO YOU'RE SAYING

RECREATE...

>> EXACTLY, JON.

>> Jon: I DIDN'T FINISH WHAT I

WAS SAYING.

>> I WASN'T LISTENING.

I'M TALKING ABOUT GETTING RID OF

THOSE OLD-FASHIONED BOOKSHELVES

AND REPLACE THEM WITH BEAUTIFUL

WELL-APPOINTED DOWNLOADING PODS.

BOOK LOVERS SIMPLY FEEL

THEMSELVES INSIDE, STRIP DOWN TO

THEIR UNDERWEAR, PICK UP A COLD

SLICE OF PIZZA AND START

DOWNLOADING THE GREAT WORKS OF

LITERATURE IN BETWEENS BOUTS OF

MASTURBATION AND YOUTUBE.

(LAUGHTER)

IT'S ALL THE FUN AND ISOLATION

OF HOME WITH THE INCONVENIENCE

OF 20-MINUTE CAR RIDE.

(LAUGHTER)

>> Jon: THERE'S STUFF BOOKSTORE

CANS DO THAT THE INTERNET CAN'T.

>> OH, YOU MEAN LIKE SHELTER THE

HOMELESS?

(LAUGHTER)

>> Jon: I'M TALKING ABOUT HAVING

AUTHORS VISIT STORES.

>> OH, WELL, NOW WE'RE JUST

SPLITTING HAIRS.

(LAUGHTER)

>> Jon: (LAUGHS)

>> THE REALITY IS, THERE'S

NOTHING MORE DEPRESSING THAN

SEEING SOME PASTY SHUT-IN AUTHOR

BARE HIS SOUL IN FRONT OF A

HALF-FILLED ROW OF FOLDING

CHAIRS.

(LAUGHTER)

BELIEVE ME, I KNOW.

(LAUGHTER)

>> SO WHAT IS THE ALTERNATIVE TO

THIS?

>> WELL, INSTEAD OF HOSTING

READINGS, WHY NOT HOST EXCITING

LIVE WRITINGS.

BRING THE AUTHOR IN, TIE HIM TO

A DESK AND MAKE HIM WRITE A

NOVEL TO ORDER.

(APPLAUSE)

CUSTOMERS CAN SHOUT OUT THEIR

OWN IDEAS WHILE PELTING THE

WRITER WITH $4 SCONES.

IT WILL BE FUN.

GEORGE R.R. MARTIN NOT FINISHING

THAT NEW "GAME OF THRONES" BOOK

FAST ENOUGH FOR YOU?

WELL, MAYBE HOT CHAI LATTE DOWN

HIS NECK WILL SPEED HIM UP.

>> Jon: I'M NOT SURE A LOT

AUTHORS WOULD AGREE TO THAT.

>> I THINK YOU'RE

UNDERESTIMATING AUTHORS' DESIRE

FOR FREE CHAI AND THE OCCASIONAL

HUMAN TOUCH.

(LAUGHTER)

>> Jon: THAT BRINGS UP AN

INTERESTING POINT.

WHAT ABOUT THE HUMAN ELEMENT?

BOOKSTORES GO TO PERSONAL

RELATIONSHIPS WITH THEIR

CUSTOMERS YOU SIMPLY CANNOT GET

FROM A COMPUTER.

THERE ARE EMPLOYEE INTERACTIONS,

EMPLOYEE RECOMMENDATIONS.

>> OH, YES, YES, THANK YOU.

EMPLOYEE PICKS, THANK YOU PUDGY

NECK BEARD COUNTER GUY FOR

CLUING ME INTO PHILIP K. DICK--

AGAIN.

WHAT'S THE MATTER?

ARE YOU SOLD OUT OF "CONFEDERACY

OF DUNCES" THIS WEEK?

HA HA!

UP HIGH, JON, LITERATURE SLAM!

I GOT 'EM!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

I THINK I HURT MY READING ELBOW.

>> Jon: YOU SHOULD GET THAT

LOOKED AT.

>> YOU RAISE A GOOD POINT, JOHN.

BOOKSTORES EMPLOY A SPECIAL

CLASS OF CONDESCENDING NERD.

THESE ARE THE TYPES OF PEOPLE

THAT USED TO WORK AT VIDEO

STORES BEFORE THEY WENT UNDER.

(LAUGHTER)

>> Jon: WHERE WERE THEY BEFORE

THAT?

>> RECORD STORES, OBVIOUSLY.

IT'S BEEN A TOUGH COUPLE YEARS

FOR CONDESCENDING NERDS.

(LAUGHTER)

AND AS BOOKSTORES FALL, JON,

AMERICAN WILL BE INUNDATED WITH

A WANDERING SNARKY UNDERCLASS OF

UNEMPLOYABLE PURVEYORS OF

USELESS AND ARCANE ESOTERICA.

>> Jon: I'M NOT SURE I

UNDERSTAND.

>> NO, WELL, YOU WOULDN'T.

(LAUGHTER)

>> Jon: YOU SEEM TO HATE

BOOKSTORE EMPLOYEES.

>> OH, I LOATHE THEM, JON.

THEY SHOVE MY BOOKS UNDER HUMOR,

NOT WITTICISM AS I ASKED!

DO I LOOK LIKE "MARPL DUKE" TO

YOU?

(LAUGHTER)

>> Jon: MARMADUKE IS A VERY BIG

DOG."

(LAUGHS)

>> PATHETIC.

WE HAVE TO FACE FACTS, JON, THE

BIG BOX BOOKSTORE HAS PASSED

INTO HISTORY.

NOT SOMETHING WE SHOULD EMBRACE

AND BE PROUD OF BY PRESERVING

BORDERS AS A POPULAR HISTORICAL

ATTRACTION.

>> Jon: LIKE COLONIAL

WILLIAMSBURG.

>> EXACTLY.

BRING THE KIDS DOWN TO YE OLDE

BORDERSTOWN.

LET THEM SEE WHAT IT FELT LIKE

TO PAW THROUGH A CLEARANCE BIN

OF CALENDAR OR SNEAK A PEEK AT

PORNOGRAPHY PRINTED ON ACTUAL

PAPER ON THE GIANT RACK OF WEIRD

MAGAZINES YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF.

INCLUDING MY PERSONAL FAVORITE

"BOOKSTORE MAGAZINE RACK

AFICIONADO MAGAZINE."

>> Jon: I THINK A BOOKSTORE

PRESERVE MIGHT APPEAL TO A SMALL

MARKET.

>> CAN'T BE SMALLER THAN THE

MARKET OF PEOPLE WHO BRI BOOKS

ANYWAY.

SO WHAT DO YOU LIKE?

GATHER ROUND, YOUNG' UNS AND SEE

HOW WE USED TO HAVE BOOK LIGHTS.

IN THE 1980s AN ICE CREAM WAS A

SIGN OF WEALTH AND BOOKS DIDN'T

GLOW.

>> Jon: THANK YOU VERY

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