8.05.2011

About Borders

This morning the Pershey girls spent an hour or so at Borders. (We also went to the pediatrician, car wash, and grocery store. I was proud of all three of us for handling all those errands so swimmingly.) I'm sad about Borders closing down, though I've always been fairly ambivalent about it, having been sad about the bookstores Borders helped run out of business.

A few thoughts... Jumbled, as usual:

My family was entranced by Borders when the first one near us opened. It was far enough away that we didn't go often, but when we did it was a total Event. I remember reading all of Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block at Borders, probably when I was about 12 years old, and being amazed that no one was stopping me.

One of the reasons I took the girls to Borders today was that I thought it would be a good place to nurse Genevieve. You know, on account all those comfy chairs they put out to enable people to read the merchandise. The chairs had been removed. Borders as a destination, a hangout, is already gone.

Ben and I went to Borders the night Deacon died, because we couldn't bear to be in the house. Milling about the books was exactly what we needed.

The saddest part was seeing all the employees dutifully reorganizing the shrinking inventory. By all accounts, people liked working at Borders. And even those that didn't, now they are losing their jobs, and in the interim have to put up with all these bargain shoppers trolling the 30% off racks.

I have never, in the many years I've been purchasing books from Amazon, seen nor spoken to an Amazon employee.

When I paid for our selections, I stopped myself from saying anything to the woman at the counter, beyond the usual niceties. I would imagine she has heard the earnest lamentations of far too many customers.

I bought several children's books for gifts, as well as two books for myself: The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure, and I Is an Other by James Geary. The first is all Little House on the Prairie geekery, and the second is about the way metaphor influences the way we think and function. I had heard of one, thanks to Goodreads, but probably wouldn't have happened upon the other without perusing the shelves of the local bookstore.

Which we no longer have.

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