Borders Chain Headed for Bankruptcy

The Wall Street Journal is reporting the Borders book store chain is preparing to file for bankruptcy and close at least 200 of its 674 stores, leading to thousands of job losses.

Borders operates one store in the Memphis area – at 6685 Poplar Ave., in Germantown.

Memphis has definitely felt the ripple effects of the change tides of the book industry. The past year has seen the closure of Barnes and Noble and Bookstar stores, as well as the bankruptcy filing of the parent company of Davis-Kidd Booksellers.

An interesting factoid: the owner of Davis-Kidd parent Joseph Beth, Neil Van Uum, used to be married to Mary Beth Borders, a sibling of the Borders founders.

Davis-Kidd, though, is still going strong in Memphis. The company closed its Nashville store but has rallied around its strongest performing locations, including the one in Memphis.

Michael Oher, the central character in the Hollywood blockbuster “The Blind Side” will be at Davis-Kidd Wed. Feb. 16 to sign copies of his memoir “I Beat the Odds.”

Lucille

The Wall Street Journal has a nice profile and interview with B.B. King in Tuesday’s edition of the paper.

To go along with that, here’s a YouTube clip of an interview where B.B. tells the famous story of how he came to name his guitar “Lucille.”

Michael Oher: “I Beat the Odds”

Michael Oher’s rags to riches story has been told the Hollywood way. Now it will be told his way, with the publication this month of a book he wrote with a sports journalist called “I Beat the Odds.”

From the Huffington Post:

Oher writes, “I wrote ‘I Beat the Odds’ for two main reasons. One is that I get asked a lot what I thought about the book and the movie ‘The Blind Side’ and I wanted a chance to talk about some of the questions people have about how I was portrayed in the movie and about my life before I came to live with the Tuohys. Also, so many people seemed so touched by my story that I wanted to bring attention to what kids in the foster care system are dealing with so that people could have a better understanding of just how big and how widespread the need for loving, stable families really is.”

“I Beat the Odds” will be in stores February 8. Oher will be at Davis-Kidd to sign copies of the book Feb. 16.

Book excerpts:

“Memphis has some beautiful public schools. East High School looks like some kind of a palace. It’s really incredible.”

Oher mentions reading an interview and cites a comment from it by Robert Lipscomb, the city of Memphis director of the Division of Housing and Community Development. Apparently, the interview touched on Lipscomb’s motivation behind eliminating public housing in Memphis, which was thought to “reduce crime.”

“It was a nice thought, but all it managed to do was spread crime to new areas,” Oher writes.

Blockbuster’s long and re-winding road

This definitely qualifies as a Homer Simpson, head-slapping, growling Marge, Doh! moment.

Someone who works for the local Blockbuster franchise group told me Blockbuster and Netflix were in quiet talks a few years ago about joining forces.

Knowing what we know now – as I reported this week, that things are so bad the local franchise group is closing its remaining Blockbuster stores in Memphis – it’s not hard to imagine what the Simpson patriarch would exclaim.

Doh, indeed.

The Health Care Quibble

The U.S. Dist. Judge in Florida who ruled a few days ago that the controversial health care reform legislation is unconstitutional has provided fodder for commentators and analysts to parse over apparently until the end of days.

Here’s a pretty interesting rebuttal to the ruling. Some folks with the liberal Center for American Progress have actually gone line by line through the ruling (they’ve found what they say are errors on every single page) and made an interactive graphic.

You can click highlighted portions of the ruling and see why these guys say it’s wrong. (Scroll down the page at this link to get to the interactive graphic).

Dansette

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