Thursday, July 21, 2011

Border's Bookstore

Border's Bookstore is closing.

My first reaction was "but where will we go?"  For us, Border's is not so much a store as it is a place--our place.  For the past decade and some, our idea of a "hot date" has been to go to Border's for a cup of coffee and a wander through the books.  Every errand trip into town has included a stop at Border's.  We have our prescriptions done at the CVS next to Border's, so we can take a browse while waiting for them to be filled.

If we're running errands and end up with time to kill before the next appointment, we go to Border's.  We go there to reward ourselves after a trip to the dentist or doctor.  I've spent hours there knitting with my friends.  If Bob wants to go to a gun show, Border's will baby-sit me until he is through.  If I'm feeling down, I can have a steamer (warm milk with flavoring).  If it's a weekend, then we go for the latte with the flavorings and whipped cream and sprinkles on top.

We're not alone in mourning the loss.  I've overheard people in the store saying that it's like going to a funeral, or losing a friend.  Today was the last day that the cafe was open--the last day I get a coffee there and wander through the books.  The store itself will be closing soon.  I hear things like "where will I study for finals"?  "Where will I play chess?"  "Where will I spend my lunch breaks?"  It has been a haven for so many.

It's hard to accept that it's not our place, or a community center, or a haven.  It's a store.  And what I haven't heard is "where will I buy books and magazines?"

We've seen a lot of abuse of the store.  People who bring in food and drink from somewhere else and settle at the tables to enjoy the air conditioning and free internet connection.  People who look over the books, decide what they want, and then go home to do an internet search to buy it cheaper online.  People who sit comfortably and read a magazine cover-to-cover and then put it down and walk away.

Being a haven doesn't pay the bills.  The store is closing.

But where will I go?

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