In this economy it’s not unusual to see stores come and go. Here today, gone tomorrow. Come to our grand opening because we are special and different and you need everything we sell. And then, after a while, sorry we couldn’t make it. Guess you didn’t need what we had after all.
As a writer, and a reader, I have found my life’s sustenance at bookstores. Most recently, that has been Borders. The store has been more than just a big, boxy building that sells books and CDs. It’s nurtured my mind and soul. Never mind the white chocolate mocha coffee.
Borders is about organized stacks of everything you could ever want to read for the rest of your life. Order and comfort with alphabetization. Biographies with biographies. Thrillers with thrillers. Did I mention the coffee?
Some people die for Lord and Taylor. I always choose Borders. I love the peek at peoples’ personalities as they browse. Like the big burly guy in leather searching for cooking magazines with his young daughter. And then the slim woman in the pregnancy section … is she, I wonder?
I loved the chance to admire beautiful book covers or plop into a chair to flip through the pages. Reading is my salvation. So it was not only a shock to hear the chain is seeking bankruptcy protection, but that the local store slated to immediately close is mine. The decision felt personal. I go there a lot.
My daughter and I popped in to our Borders the other day before heading to a movie. Already, the people paid to wave the giant yellow SALE signs were parked on every corner and spaced intermittently up the drive.
Inside was ransacked, fixtures askew. A copy of Jane Eyre was tossed on top of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and a beauty magazine. Clerks smiled and tried to straighten things out, apologetic that the café was gone.
I love my local library, but Borders has been my oasis, with its rhythm and organization. As a good friend that has opened up new worlds, it is going to be really hard to let it go.