Borders lives on with us

It’s no secret that the closing of Borders devastated me and countless other readers. Regardless of your feelings on “chain” bookstores, Borders was our only new bookstore in three counties. My closest bookstore is now a Barnes & Noble, and that bad boy is a 45-minute drive up to Annapolis. Ack.

Its loss has already been felt profoundly in my community, and seeing its shuttered doors now makes me feel sick. Though our local branch just closed for good last week, it’s been “closed” to me for a month; I haven’t been able to go in as the shelves grew sparser and Borders was being dismantled. It just made me too sad.

But my boyfriend had a great idea.

When Borders said “everything must go,” they meant it — and that included the hundreds of wooden bookcases that once supported Borders’ wares. As Spencer bought a home this summer, he’s been looking for storage options — and thought Borders’ bookshelves would be a great addition to his place. Though I was initially saddened by the idea of ripping the cases out of the store, I’ve since converted . . . and realize now that if Spence hadn’t taken them, someone else would have.

So he bought quite a few and, with the help of a friend, got them up into the condo (in the middle of a hurricane and flash flood, but that’s another story). We started getting them all screwed in so he could begin filling them last night, and I got to show Spencer my considerable alphabetizing skills — all from my Borders days, of course. We alpha’ed his DVD collection around 9 p.m. and have the first three bays ready to rock and roll.

Sorting through his movies was soothing, and it’s a little weird to see the shelves there — especially when I looked at them for years, working eight- or ten-hour shifts during college — but it’s really nice, too. I feel good that a part of Borders will live on with us, and these bookcases will be cared for by a reader who will think fondly of her days at the store as she fills them: me!

And don’t worry . . . I’m sure we will have them filled in no time. More bookshelves just mean more books, right?


29 thoughts on “Borders lives on with us

    • You know I will, Juju! Can’t wait to fill those babies up. Goodness knows I have the books to do it . . . though poor Spence probably won’t dig that plan!

  1. I know what you mean about being sad over Borders closing. Our Borders is now an outlet furniture store. UGH! It’s ugly furniture, too.

    I love that Spencer had the idea to snag some of the bookcases. I hope you both have fun filling them up.

  2. Our Borders in the mall closed as well. Like you our nearest bookstore, Books A Million, is in another town 35 minutes away. The nearest Indie is an hour and a half away. So, I shop Amazon mostly…I support the Indies whenever I can and love to browse for hours, but if Amazon wasn’t alive, I’d be up a creek πŸ™‚

  3. I love this idea! If you can’t have the bookstore, bring it home to you πŸ™‚ And you know, as soon as those shelves get filled, I’m going to want to see a picture!

  4. From the closest Borders to us that closed during the first round of closings, we bought 2 shelves and 2 tables. When they all closed, we went to the next closest and bought 3 more shelves. 1 is still sitting in our garage because we are not quite sure where to put it yet.

  5. I am sooooo jealous! I wanted some of these cases myself but have NOWHERE to put them. I even took a picture and asked my husband if I could bring some home… like they were a pet πŸ˜‰

  6. I can’t believe you’re 45 minutes from a book store! Yikes 😦 I’ve heard of a few “trading books” websites. You probably already know of them, but if you google it they’d probably pop up.
    I’m on the prowl for a new book. Any strong recommendations? Some type of novel. I know, that narrows it down a lot πŸ™‚

    • What sorts of books of novels do you like, Kiah? My favorite reads of the year have been How To Love An American Man by Kristine Gasbarre, Domestic Violets by Matthew Norman (so funny!) and I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. All very different, but all very good!

  7. wow, i can’t believe you have to drive 45 minutes away to get to the closest big book store. i guess i should consider myself lucky that i still have a a few barnes and noble floating around in my city. i’m glad spencer was able to pick up a few bookshelves and at least we know it’s going to a good home. i can’t wait to see what the shelves look like once they’re all filled up.

  8. Supposedly, the Borders near me is going to continue to be a bookstore-Books a Million is opening up in the now empty space. I’ll most likely be gone by the time that happens though.

    And I wish I’d had the idea to buy a bookshelf from them, I really could have used it. Oh well. My finance has carpentry skills…I’ll get him to make me a bookshelf (or three) once we have a place of our own.

  9. That’s a good way to think – at least you saved a part of Borders to live with you! I love that you guys got these shelves! I heard of someone else doing the same too at another store, so yay!

  10. First, I love that your boyfriend has former Borders shelves, so cool.
    Any chance B&N will move in closer to your area, I live in a small town and yet I’m only 35 min from 2 B&N in different directions. We do sadly lack in Indie bookstores.

  11. I think Spencer’s idea was brilliant! And now you have a piece…or several…of your beloved bookstore. Yay for all of your bookcases. I suspect they will be filled very soon!

  12. My boyfriend totally had the same idea the minute we realized Borders was closing. He bought the coffee table we spent many hours at together studying for exams or just sipping coffee together. As much as I’m not a fan of how chain bookstores are run, I was and am extremely sad Borders is gone. It meant a lot to me to have somewhere nearby to just sit quietly in.

    • That’s awesome, Nina! I never thought about getting the coffee tables, but that’s a great idea. And now you have a piece of the store, too. I’m already desperately missing our Borders and realize I have nowhere in town to just . . . wander. Everything is a chain store, a restaurant that closes early, a mall full of teenagers. It’s so sad.

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