Borders Books & Music: A Personal Memorial

When I was a little kid, going to the bookstore at the mall with my mom was enough to send me over the edge with excitement. I was one of those worrisome children that found the bookstore more thrilling than 31 Flavors or the pet shop. When my middle daughter was a pre-teen, she got to be part of the magic by standing in line at Borders for the midnight release of two of the Harry Potter books, complete with balloons and everything. As an adult, I performed a comedic reading at a Borders Books & Music on the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. Many singer/songwriters who never would have stood a chance in corporate America, were introduced to their audience through a Borders tour. I also escaped a family crisis there one Easter Sunday; where I drank espresso, read American Scholar, and pretended my real family was from another planet.

I have purchased countless books, magazines, CD’s and DVD collections I probably would have never even known about had I not been able to experience the full sensory sensations of being in an enormous multi-level Borders. While visual impression is very important, there is nothing like the 3rd dimensional feel of an item; the gloss of the magazine, the smell of the ink, the weight of a photography book, the crackle of a newly opened hardback, the aisles of bookshelves or music bins there for your pawing pleasure, the quiet murmurs of others sharing in the awe of discovery.

I feel guilty, like a neglectful lover. I moved away from my favorite Borders almost 3 years ago when I relocated from Southern California to a small coastal Oregon town. The nearest Borders to me is (or was) about a 90 minute drive away. I meant to go there, but I have been so busy, and yes, I did get a Kindle last Christmas. I still buy books – primarily from Amazon. After I got into the Sookie Stackhouse novels, I did patronize a little local bookstore because I was so desperate to get the next book in the series – I couldn’t wait for the shipping. But it will never be the same as going to what I always felt was the Disneyland of Borders at the Rivers mall in Palm Desert. It would feel like a blast furnace outside, and my daughter and I would go into the freezy Borders – before or after whatever movie we had come to see – and each drift to our own area and lose ourselves. It was way too easy to accidentally be late to the movie, or stay until we were starving. But it was so hard to leave. Now, we can never go back.

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7 comments on “Borders Books & Music: A Personal Memorial

  1. I feel the same way you do… I love books, I love to read for hours and hours.. Just one more chapter please, just one more until it was 3:00 in the morning. There was also the time in 8th grade where the English teacher, Mr. Watts, I believe, called my mother to tell her that he was thrilled I was reading so much but wished I would not do it during his class. I always have a book. There is one by the bed, one by my couch side table, I even keep one in my car (never knowing how long those doctor appointments/baseball games/red lights are going to last.) I love reading (which is why I went to work at the library for many years–talk about a job in heaven..that was it) I used to take my son to Borders when he was younger. We had so much fun. We’d get books or magazines to look through. He’d have a hot chocolate and I’d get tea and we would share a chocolate bundt cake or brownie. It was our special time together. I will miss Borders and even though there is a Barnes and Noble across the street, there is something more down to earth about Borders and I have always preferred it. It is like an old friend walking off into the sunset…Au revoir mon ami.

  2. I have had such a sadness since learning of Borders closing, I was a regular at the store on Market St in Akron, Ohio since it’s opening, and now having been in New Braunfels fours years, have been a frequent shopper at the Forum store. I don’t know what I will do without that bookstore on a Sat. or Sun afternoon with a hot cup of coffee browsing through their books. Feel like I’ve lost an old friend! Cheri

  3. Pingback: Death of a Best Friend, Borders Books « ❀ Lisa Akari ❀

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