Driven by the temptation of discounted books, I recently visited my local Borders; I did scoop up a few bargains, but I don't think I can bear to go back again. While the chain has gotten itself into this fine mess--it's in Chapter 11 and owes in excess of $500 million to creditors, according to Publishers Weekly--it still hurts my heart to see this store close. I never thought I would embrace a chain bookstore as "my place," but that's how I have always come to think of my local Borders. It's the place where I would have "mommy escapes" to browse books and sip coffee. It's the place where my boys and I waited on line at midnight with all the other Harrys and Hermiones for that latest JK Rowling tome, and where I took them on many a rainy Saturday afternoon over the years. I've filled my bookshelves from the bargain tables there, bought hundreds of Christmas and birthday gifts, and spent more time than I should have fantasizing about seeing my own book on its shelves.
Saddest of all to me is seeing the once humming and busy cafe now reduced to storage space. It was a place for me to meet friends, work on my books or grade papers, or even have a date night with my husband. Here's what it looks like now:
Those of us standing in line yesterday were quiet, perhaps a little embarrassed to be picking over the remains. But the employees remained relentlessly cheerful and patient, assuring customers that there are still some Borders in the area that are open. In another week, however, this one won't be. And I'm sure gonna miss it.
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