*”Bye, Bye Borders, Borders, Bye Bye”

Borders store closing

Image by scazon via Flickr

Closing all Borders stores is an out-and-out major disappointment. It stinks, big time. What now? Adios Barnes and Noble too? I’m not saying that I don’t love Amazon.com because I do, I like it for its convenience and low prices. Sigh, but really, you can’t sit at Amazon and drink a cup of coffee. You can’t leisurely and lovingly stroll down the aisles to see what the new hardcover books look like or how the new in paperback books are all lined up in a perfect row begging for hands to fondle them. It’s just not right and it’s sad.

Now, there is no where to go and stroll through the aisles, looking at book jackets, stopping to read the titles, gently touching my fingertips to the outline of the illustration. Borders was a great place to meet, it was in the perfect place for so many people from nearby medical offices, stores, office buildings and deli’s to meet.  Closing Borders is closing a network of people who like to linger, socialize and have a damn cup of coffee even it tasted like dirty dishwater. It was a place to sit and not ever feel rushed. You could linger among magazines and mochachinos. You could also meet like-minded people, give unsolicited advice about books, make friends, start a book club, read books to their springy, enthusiastic children.

So now, what do we do? Read our lifeless Kindles (I don’t use the one I ordered years ago) by ourselves, never touching a piece of fine, heavy, cream-colored paper? Part of  closing this particular business is not like saying good-bye to a furniture store or a nail salon, it’s saying good-bye to a way of life. A nice, peaceful way of life where people could talk, they could exchange ideas and suggest books for each other or lend coupons. It was a social place as well as a store. My children may never sit in a bookstore and linger over a heavenly array of different books, with different colorful covers and  eat snacks. They won’t meet other people or share a cup of coffee or talk to other people their age. They will be hunched over their iPhones and all they need, it seems, is a credit card and a computer. It’s a sad statement for our society.

*Sung to the tune of  “Bye, Bye, Baby, Baby Goodbye…” By the Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons

9 thoughts on “*”Bye, Bye Borders, Borders, Bye Bye”

  1. I will never give up REAL books! I’ve yearned for a Kindle but even if I ever got one, which isn’t likely, I would still love my huge bookshelves overflowing with my many books! I have them stacked everywhere! My husband fears I may someday qualify to be filmed on an episode of Hoarders! But I can’t give away my books, even after I’ve read them….I love them! I was just at Barnes and Noble yesterday, browsing their $6.98 pile and bought a book titled “To My Daughter With Love” It’s actually where it prompts questions about my, my mothers and my grandmothers lives and my daughters as well…I fill in the blanks…and it’s something my daughter will be left with and can pass down, reading about all of our lives. I thought it was a great idea! But I like B and N….I love all bookstores, new and used. I love libraries. Book mobiles…if there’s a pile of books…I’m there!
    Tammy

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  2. I can imagine our Grandparents lamenting over the end of radio when TV became the “new” thing. I have read only two books on my son’s Ipad, and I wasn’t all that thrilled with it. I too want to hold a book and read. It will soon be a thing of the past. Like handwitten letters. Since my Mom passed away I have started writing notes to all the old Aunties and friends because she did. I feel like it’s one something I can do and I have learned to love it, it feels so much more real than an email
    mo

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  3. Word, Girlfriend…from your fingertips to God’s ear. I wholeheartedly agree. However, numbers cannot be denied. My Kindle and e-book sales triple and sometimes quadruple my paperback sales….It’s cheaper to download and no delivery charges either.

    Still, I’m like you. I have a tangible love affair with books. They’re like having multiple lovers who feel differently to the touch, hard and softcover. They have something new and exciting to impart, and if you don’t like a particular book, you can pass it on to a friend without giving them an STD. I know…I need therapy.

    p.s. I have two books I still need to return to you!

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  4. While I lament the closing of Borders — it was my favorite bookstore-
    I’m a bit more hopeful that new venues will open to create community.
    The internet is in it’s infancy and the good thing that is beginning to come out is the realization we are all community, inter and intra connected. That’s ultimately a bigger and more important experience. Hopefully it will unfold in more and more positive directions.

    (Lorraine,
    You don’t need to read anymore– just listen.)

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  5. Where I live, the Borders was downsized years ago, and the cafe dismantled. It just wasn’t the same after that, so we stopped going there. The same process has been happening in Canada, too. What I miss are the independent book stores that stocked what they wanted. Amazingly, in the ritzy town two stops over on the train where I do my shopping, there is an independent bookstore. Never has much stock and no cafe, but somehow manages to get EVERY BIG NAME AUTHOR ON A BOOK TOUR TO STOP IN!!!!
    It’s Barnes and Nobles when we need to find a gift for hubby’s brother in Oregon. We manage to sneak in two cafe americanos and split an “apple purse” warmed with whip cream. B&N is closer to where we live, but still a car ride away.
    Guess my absolute favourite is used bookstores; I’ve been to several where a cafe was part of the deal.
    I’ll probably always be kindle and smart phone less, so I’m not sure how I’ll get to read in the future!

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