A Borders Eulogy

Borders Books. What a lovely place.

I haven’t had the privilege to know Borders since its birth in 1971, but since 1993 (well, maybe 1995 when I actually started reading), Borders Books has been my friend. I know I’m one of millions, but I disregard that vague number. I know we had a bond like no other.

Each trip to Borders was a journey into another world with endless opportunities. I’d often start in the magazine section, working my way through issues of Teen Vogue,Paste, and my nerdy guilty pleasure (graphic design magazines).

After I’d secured copies of missing recent issues, I would make my way over to the bestsellers. While hardbacks were nice to look at, I knew that I didn’t have the $26 to splurge, so I would skim the titles, mentally noting if anything looked particularly intriguing, and moved to the paperback titles. Because at least five at any given time looked interesting, I would reread each description several times and carefully weigh my degree of interest in each book. Often, however, I would put all of them down and wander off to another section, knowing that they’d be there later if I really wanted them. Borders was always dependable like that.

After covering fiction and young adult novels in the same fashion, I would make my way to the music section. I must admit one of Borders’ faults: its selectiveness…in the albums one could preview, that is. However, I quickly got past this when I found obscure albums that had never seen the likes of the iTunes Music Store. After all, no one is perfect; each friend has his or her strengths and weaknesses, and strengths often make up for weaknesses.

My stay in the movies section was often briefer, especially since the dawn of Netflix and Internet TV when I decided I wouldn’t pay more than $5 or $6 for a DVD again, but I’ll admit I bought a few seasons of Gilmore Girls there. Good times.

Occasionally I’d make my way over to the stationery section. Although Moleskine journals and cute cards often called my name, books usually won. I did buy a planner there for this year, though.

Final decision time was always tough, but I knew what I didn’t purchase I could come back and look at time after time. My Borders Rewards membership often helped, allowing me to get the best deals and save the most money. Frugal, that one.

I was surprised to hear of Borders’ death. No more browsing through their shelves stacked high with books. No more searching through bargain books to find ones worth purchasing. No more rushing to the closest Borders Express for an outside reading book for Lit.

I suppose all good things come to an end, but Borders deserved a less tragic one.

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