Closing Our Borders
“[…] 40-year-old book retailer Borders will be closing its doors for good.” – WSJ Blogs
The past several months have been like watching two dear friends struggle through an unhealthy relationship. You know it’s going to end badly, but you are somehow still pulling for them. I love Borders. I have spent hours in those stores over the years. I just always felt smarter walking in the building. It was like a cool library where you could drink coffee and you didn’t have to be all that quiet.The ambiance was great, aisles packed with literature of any genre, dozens of people sprawled over the floor reading books they are too cheap to pay for (I know, they were just kicking the tires). My friend Glen tweeted the other day, “Sad to see Borders closing. It was a great place to preview books before I went home and ordered them off Amazon.” You laugh, but that’s really what has happened here.
I am a Kindle owner, but only after much hesitation. I love the look of books on a shelf, different sizes and colors, the smell of the paper and glue. It just creates an atmosphere, and I was afraid to lose that by going the ebook route, but I found a compromise. I bought the Kindle and vowed that if I downloaded a book I really enjoyed I would get a paper copy as well. Sounds good, right? A year later this has yet to happen. Maybe I haven’t read a great book. Maybe I’m a lying, promise breaker. It’s hard to say, but that’s how my reading life has been. I love my Kindle. I love that I can push a button and have a new title seconds later. No driving to the store (sorry Borders), and no waiting for shipping. I am one Netflix account away from being a stage 5 shut-in. And this is the current flow of our culture.
What the future holds for paper and ink is unclear, but I guess I find comfort in knowing that, though the literary landscape has changed, people are still excited about the act of reading and the art of writing.