Last Thursday, I went to a nearby Borders store with my youngest son. Immediately, I felt that something was amiss. I usually go straight to the cafeteria to get my decaf coffee fix (I know, it makes no sense, but it is what it is). Instead of the usually well-stocked fridge, I saw several bottles of soda water and a few cans of a weird cranberry soft drink that I never cared too much for. Even weirder, they were out of decaf!
As I did my usual scanning of the science, nature and religion sections, not a one employee approached me to offer their assistance (even though I rarely need it, as I usually know where to find what I am looking for, I did notice the lack of attention nonetheless). I can honestly say that I felt a bad vibe as I walked through the store, but I could not pinpoint what was wrong. When I went to the registers to pay for my books, I was told that the store was closing and that Borders itself was going out of business. Talk about shock!
The next day, I received the email from Mr. Mike Edwards, Borders CEO. That was Classy; there’s no other way of putting it. It was nice to feel that my loyalty as a customer was appreciated. I do know that it was a mass email and I had no illusions about any “personal touch” but the email was most appreciated anyway. . .
I know that I am only one of the many people who are already posting their farewells to Borders online, but I want to express how much I will miss it. Even in these times where ebooks are indeed beginning to dominate the market, there’s something to be said about the feeling of a solid book in your hand and a cup of coffee in the other. More than once, I had ideas and insights for my scientific research while exactly doing that, even though I was reading nothing related to pharmacology, biochemistry or neurobiology. You see, to me, Borders was more than a bookstore, I kept going there because of the whole experience. It provided the optimal atmosphere to enjoy thinking. I will miss Borders; I will miss it a lot.
Farewell and thanks for the memories!