As REDgroup Retail, the owner of Angus & Robertson and Borders stores announced this week that it had gone into administration, Guy Rundle writes about the wider implications of the death of the bookshop.

The current troubles of the US Borders books group in the US -- the chain is expected to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy very soon, and continue trading after closing around 200 of its nearly 700 stores – is being taken as a harbinger of the problems being faced by bookstores of the Amazon age.

The US Borders group is currently the second-largest chain (after Barnes and Noble, who may buy up much of its discarded inventory), and its aggressive loss-leader expansion in its early years wiped out many mid-range general purpose independent bookstores. Now many mid-size towns have only a Borders and will be without a bookshop when it goes.