Monday, February 21, 2011

Eulogy for Borders

Well, not really.  More like a brief boo-hoo about the closing of my local Borders.

As in, my Favorite Bookstore Since I've Moved Here.

I know, I know.  I should be spending my book money at the local indie.  I should be thankful there IS a local indie, as well as a Barnes and Noble just a mile or two from the soon-to-be-closed-forever Borders.

Well, I'm not.  Thankful, that is.

Not at present, anyway.  I'm too darn sad about losing my Borders.  And I need a few days to wallow.

They have (had) an amazing children's section, you see.  Which is, of course, where I spend (spent) most of my time.  They've recently expanded their YA shelves, rearranging them in such a way that you could SEE the books as you approached the children's section (as opposed to seeing the end of of a bookcase). 

They are (were) a really short drive from home.  Easily the closest bookstore.

And just last month I bought Beth Revis's Across the Universe there.  Of course, it figures I had to get a socially challenged (or perhaps simply unfriendly) check-out guy.  (Maybe he already knew the store was going to close.)  My attempts at starting a chat about the book so I could, yanno, brag that the author was a buddy of mine, were summarily ignored.

But I digress.

This morning I went to my beloved Borders and saw 1 final copy of Across the Universe on the endcap.  And I sighed.

Mr. A and I had gone on Saturday to check out the hubbub (when there were still three copies of Beth's book left).  It was honestly ridiculous; people were standing in a long-long-long line for a piddling twenty percent off of retail.

Twenty percent is not worth a long wait.  Even when it's your favorite bookstore's swan song.

So we left.  And this morning I went back and bought the book I'd chosen (not Beth's, since I already have it).  Got my twenty percent and didn't have to wait in any line at all.

I said, "Good-bye, bookstore," on my way out the door.  I hopped into my car, pulled out--and cried.

Yeah.  I did.

It's just a building.  Just a bookstore.  The book sellers and baristas and cashiers (the good ones, anyway), will find new jobs.  This is far from a depressed area.  And yes, there are other places to buy books.

I guess it was the dream-of-seeing-my-own-books-on-the-shelves that is most painful to let go of.  When you have a favorite bookstore and you're an author, it's kind of hard not to go there.


Especially now, when I'm on submission.  Especially now, when, regardless of how long it may take to sell my debut novel, I have an agent in whom I have full confidence, and whom I adore.

And to whom I want to bring success as much as I want it for myself.

So forgive my weepy eyes.  This isn't a tragedy or even a Horrible Thing.  It's just sad. 

And disappointing.

Good-bye, Borders.


  1. It's sad to let go of those things that have held our hopes and dreams for our writing future. It's exciting that the publishing world is changing and expanding, but it's always tough to see our favorite places go by the wayside.

    This is a lovely tribute. :)

  2. Sorry to hear about your Borders. It IS sad. :(

  3. Losing a bookstore is always sad, whether it's an indie or a chain. I have plenty of good memories of my own local Borders (went to my first hideously awkward book club there when I was younger). Your tribute is wonderful.

  4. I'm so happy the Borders by my house is staying open (for now at least). I'm sorry for your loss and I agree--they have a great YA section! :)

  5. Sad and scary. It's the internet and ebooks, sorry to say. Libraries are closing, too.

    Yes, you can save money with ebooks, and yes, internet research probably beats the library, but still... when libraries and brick and mortar bookstores disappear, our whole quality of life goes down.

    Life is infinitely better when you get off the couch and walk out into the real world with all its tastes and scents and human interactions. Think about this the next time you buy online.

  6. I love my B&N the same way. It'll be okay, Authoress. Hugs! :)

  7. I'm sorry, Authoress. I felt the same way about the Walden Books in our mall. The staff were lovely and knew books, which seems increasingly rare. I could tell anyone there the basic plot, not knowing the title or author, and 99% of the time, someone knew exactly what I was looking for. I was very sad when it closed.

  8. I agree. It is sad to see Borders leave the market place. A sad day for all of us.

  9. I love Borders, and I'm pretty sure I would cry if mine closed. Luckily, in my area of Atlanta only one of our three Borders is closing (so far). And I agree, Borders has by far one of the best YA sections. And I love their MG area as well.

  10. Wow. I'm totally handing you a tissue. I have my very own "dream bookstore." It's a little mom and pop shop that has been around forever. First, in my head I admitted I wanted to see my own book there. Then, I shared my dream with my husband. I pictured wandering in and stumbling across the clerk unloading a new shipment with my name on the cover. I could accidentally mention that, ironically, I was the very author that penned that novel, and sure I could go ahead and sign them.

    Today they're having a fifty percent off sale because they are closing their doors after 50 boopazillion years. I don't know how I'm managing to make their personal loss mine, but I'm doing it.

    I don't want to go to the sale, even though I'm sure I could find a few books I want, because nowhere in that store is a box of my books.

    I get the weird "that-was-supposed-to-be-mine" sorrow. *sniff*

  11. I'm sorry. Our Borders had the best children's section too. My kids loved going there.

  12. We don't have a Borders in my area, but we have an indie bookstore and a B&N about 15 minutes away, and I love both of them. I don't know what I'd do if either of them closed. :(

  13. I don't blame you. I work at a B&N and though I love their bookstores, there's a Borders not too far away and that night I looked to see if it would be one of the stores to close (it's not). I'm glad about that. I like that store and can easily see why you like it too. Frankly, there are some things they do that I think B&N could learn from.

    And you know Beth Revis? Awesome. I read her book and had a great time with it. If you were checking out with me, we would have definitely had some conversating going on. ;D

  14. I hear you - I've always loved Borders and their free internet, great coupons, and cute Paperchase section. I just spent a ton of money (boy that added up) today at one of our local Border closings.

  15. It's so sad when any business closes down, but it seems that there are so few book stores as it is so losing another one of them is a real blow. We live in an area of about 100,000 people we have one Christian book store and one B & N and that's it. Walmart and Target have books, but it's not the same thing...

    I'm sorry for your loss, A.

  16. :hugs: I'm losing my Borders, too. They were 2 hours away, but they were the highlight of my quarterly trip to the city. Now they're going away. =o(

    There should be some kind of support group for people who are losing their Borders.

  17. I have to drive 50 miles to get to a Borders and ours is closing too. Sad.

  18. That is bad news, and not just for the employees and customers but for aspiring writers as well. Less tangible shelf space is not good for newbies like myself. At least my kids will always have my book. Well, I don't have any kids but I know a guy who does. Wonder if he'll let me borrow them...

  19. I know how you feel! I'm worried that my own BORDERS will closed and that I'll be forced to go to B&N for all of my books . . .

  20. I know exactly how you feel!! I moved to my neighborhood because the Barnes and Noble AND Border were in walking distance to my condo and each other.

    Sadly a few years ago Barnes and noble lost their lease and moved out. But luckily I still had my Borders until I heard the news a last week.... It one of half going in Chicago. I am of course devastated. Now the nearest book store is almost two miles away.

    Now for those of you who live in the burbs and drive, that's nothing, but I live in the city. I walk everywhere and now I don't have my wonderful stores a half a mile away.

    I can't even move because the real estate market is so depressed and I'd loose everything. So know one of my bi-weekly pleasures is gone.

    So Authoress I know EXACTLY how you feel ...


  21. We used to have 4 Borders in the city. A little while back they closed one. Now they're closing both of the downtown stores, which means the only one left is way on the other side of town. There are still a crapton of other little bookstores closer by, but they're not Borders.

    "I guess it was the dream-of-seeing-my-own-books-on-the-shelves that is most painful to let go of."

    Just last week I brought my roommate into Borders and made room on the shelf for her book (which is being released in May). I said to her, "It's going to be right here in 3 months!" Now there's not even going to be an empty bookshelf.

  22. I live in Australia, and while Borders here is bankrupt too, they're not packing just yet...

    I understand exactly what you mean. Borders was the first bookstore which I spent hours in, just reading and eventually buying stuff. It was the store where I spotted the first book I ever fell in love with (The Forbidden Game, and I was ten) and I remember when I was younger, it was the store I most looked forward to going to when my parents took me out shopping.

    Just thinking about it makes me weepy. :(