Goodbye Borders

In the summer of 2001 I was entering my sophomore year at Hofstra.  I was 19 years old and working in the computer labs when The Princess Diaries, staring Anne Hathaway, was released. The previews looked funny so I decided to go see it. It was the first time I saw a movie on my own. I don’t know what got into me, I wanted to see it, so I went to see it. I thought it was cute and funny, I knew it was based on a book, and as I researched the book I happened across a Borders bookstore near the university.

I borrowed the family car and took a trip to Borders. The moment I stepped into the store I fell in love. Two levels of books so close to my school, what’s not to love? I found the Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot (who quickly became a favourite author of mine) in the teens section, right next to the anime section, across the stairs from the religious section. For the next three years Border would be my home bookstore and those three sections would be the sections I visited every time.

From When God Whispers Your Name, to Azumanga Diaoh, the majority of the books I read through university were purchased at that Borders. Sometimes I’d blend in so well that people would ask me for recommendations and I’d tell them what to read and where they could find it.

When Borders announced that they were closing stores across the country, I was sad; my Borders was on the list. It was sad walking through it one last time, saying goodbye. Now, Borders is closing all their remaining stores and I’m not only sad to see the Penn Station store go – where would I indulge in my last minute book buying before the train comes? – I’m also sad to see so many people without jobs.

It makes me sad that so many people would be without access to a bookstore. It makes me sad that this privilege that I have – to go to the bookstore around the corner – will be restricted. I wish there was a way to solve the problems that Borders had and thus keep their doors open…

Today I say goodbye. Goodbye old friend, I’m sad to see you go. I met two women in a line at the BEA, they were Borders booksellers. I think of them now as I say goodbye. I hope the people who are without jobs find a way to ride out this rough patch…

I hope …

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