I remember hearing several months ago that Borders, the second largest bookseller in the US, had filed for bankruptcy, but for some reason it never really sank in. Until today, that is, when I happened to cut through Borders on my way into the local mall and saw the huge red “All Sales Final” signs and the lines of people picking over the scraps of the carcass. To be honest, I’m not sure why it even mattered to me because I seldom bought books at Borders. I think that the thought of a bookstore—a place I’ve always loved to browse even if I didn’t buy—disappearing from the brick and mortar consumer landscape made me a little….nostalgic?
Later, I realized that was an odd way to feel. If it had mattered to me that much, I would have bought more books at Borders and not online or through second-hand shops. But that’s when it hit me. One of the main reasons I didn’t buy more books at Borders was that I seldom found the books I wanted on the shelves (their speculative fiction section seemed to shrink every year). So while I took pleasure in looking at the rows upon rows of book spines and feeling the rough pages rub against my fingertips, I seldom found the book I wanted to buy.
I’ll miss the local Borders, not because it’s Borders, but because it’s a bookstore. It happens to be the only bookstore of consequence in my immediate area, and I wonder if another one will move in. I’m guessing one won’t (Borders’ arrival a few years ago actually surprised me), so I will need to fulfill my wont for bookstore browsing somewhere farther afield, or maybe I will need to make more frequent use of our local library.