About two months ago I was saddened when my most local Borders Books closed. This week I was saddened again to learn that all Borders stores are closing.
To be honest, since the advent of the book superstores I have always preferred Barnes & Noble. Fore one thing, I like the way they organize their titles better, and the staff generally seemed more friendly and helpful. Or maybe it’s just my perception.
When the big boys of books first hit my area I was none too pleased. I loved the local booksellers that had become like second homes to me. Virtually every weekend I’d browse new additions, the closeout shelves or just plain browse. These visits warmed me somehow. Almost overnight all the small, mom-and-pop shops shuttered in the shadows of bargain-price superstores.
At first, I boycotted these places, believing them to be the “Evil Empire,” capitalism run amok in the world of publication. Eventually, though, I wandered in to a Barnes & Noble, and later a Borders and grew used to a new level of comfort. Although the warmth of a flesh-and-blood owner with an intense love of books would forever be missing, at least we had a place to experience new releases in a relatively comfortable atmosphere.
Today, however, the tables have turned and the Internet has devoured one of the biggest discount booksellers on the planet: Borders. Can Barnes & Noble be far behind?
If you love books, if the feel and smell of a new work of fiction or non-fiction gives you a rush, I urge you to frequent your local booksellers and buy from them and not via the Internet. Our failure to support local businesses will not only rob us all of convenient places to shop, it will kill the jobs of untold friends and neighbors, affecting our communities in darkly profound ways.
Thanks for so many great years of reading. Borders will be missed.