Bye Bye Borders

In our town, the BORDERS store is a shining star, housed not in a strip mall but in a building constructed in 1923 as part of the grammar school.  One of our town’s beautiful anchors.

It is now one of the 200 stores nationwide targeted to close.

The liquidators are not wasting any time.  According to the store’s manager, they showed up over the weekend and started marking down the inventory.  Loyal customers have been streaming in to buy books, but also to hug the employees, and each other, and to say goodbye.  There are tears.

When we bought our house, its biggest draw was (is) the neighborhood and sense of community.  We wanted a place where we could walk everywhere — where we could go entire weeks or weekends without ever getting in the car — and we found it, our little paradise nestled into the base of a mountain.  People you don’t know wave from their front porches and stop to talk.  It’s that kind of place.  I set foot in our BORDERS store at least twice a week, and I buy books there.  Sure, I order books on-line, and I love the used bookstore (a 15 minute drive away), but I’ve cherished this local BORDERS as a place that feels like part of my home:  I might take Lea the lab for a morning walk and stop in for a cup of coffee and a browse; I could buy a book and step outside onto the adjacent patio to sit under the giant trees; or I might ride my bike there to snag a book that I must have today, this instant.

I could cry.  I know I will cry the first time I walk my dog or ride my bike by that soon-to-be empty space.  I know this is small potatoes compared to all the other stuff going on in the world.  I read the papers.  And I was just reading a blog post by one of my old professors who’s in India on Fulbright Fellowship, describing one truly bizarre and dangerous day.  So I have perspective.  I really do.  But the sight of that empty bookstore is still going to break my heart.

Our shining star will lock its doors next month.


9 thoughts on “Bye Bye Borders

  1. Lyra

    I cry with you.

    Don’t feel that your small potatoes don’t matter. There have been and there will always be horrors in the world. It is because small things break our heart that we are human and in being human, great change can happen.

    Small losses can be catastrophic as well, just not in the same way.
    It’s so important that we register these small losses, because they all add up to something so much greater, something that matters dearly. Books matter, people matter, empathy matters.

    1. lisahgolden

      Agreed. You can feel your pain without apology. I share it and I don’t live anywhere near a Borders. The closing of a bookstore just makes me sad on many levels.

  2. Macdougal Street Baby

    Aw, Teri, I’m sorry. Lyra is right. Having perspective has nothing to do with it. You’re feeling the loss and that’s what’s important. Pain is not comparable.

    Is it possible to send comfort through the internet to a person I’ve never met? Yes. Did you receive it? I really hope so.

  3. Teri Post author

    All of your generous comforts have been received, and I’m hanging onto them for as long as you’ll let me. Hugs to all.

    On another note, Macdougal SB, I was reading your “about” section yesterday and couldn’t imagine the noise factor you describe. I love the rowdy hustle you desribe … until it’s time to go home! Ha. I sleep with earplugs because my poor sweet husband breathes too loud! Not snores. Breathes. Lord I am a case.

  4. amyg

    two of the four Borders in Louisville are closing (none are as charming as yours); but still, I felt like a looter in there this weekend grabbing the 40% magazines like an amy in a bookstore.

    i’d be a wreck if my favorite bookstore closed (it’s not only my fav bookstore, but coffee shop too, there’s a tiny hallway that connects them: Carmichael’s Books and Heine Brothers Coffee on the corner of Longest and Bardstown. Should you ever go to the Derby, be sure to drop by.)

  5. glasseye

    Nooooo!!! Our Borders is a 30-minute drive away and located in a hideous strip mall, and still it would break my heart to see it go. Yours is charming and infinitely more friendly. I have a lump in my throat.

    1. Teri Post author

      Les, Rex would LOVE to open a bookstore. We have a fantasy of used books with new books, first editions, a wine bar, big leather library chairs and a fireplace.

      If only Bill Gates would fund it for us. 😉

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