Saying goodbye to Borders

COMMUNITY VOICE: CHERE WILLIAMS

When I received the unfortunate news that Borders Bookstore would close its doors, I tried to ignore it. They may be closing other stores, but not my neighborhood Borders! They couldn’t be, in Silver Spring Borders was a hub, a gathering place, a little home away from home, no way could my beloved Borders close. I’m really a vintage, used, mom and pop kind of bookstore gal, but Borders was special for me and my daughter.

I first moved to Silver Spring when Anya was barely two. I was a newly single mom and going through some tough transitions. The one reason I chose the area I live in was the convenience of walking to bookstores, restaurants, movies, and a host of other entertainment outlets. I needed to be surrounded by things to keep myself busy through my breakup and the death of my grandma.

When we’d go to Borders the employees were warm, friendly and they loved Anya. Some of the employees who knew her when she was in diapers are still there and they always give her a hug and even set stuff aside for her. We spent many days at the coffee shop with Anya eating blueberry muffins and me sipping on an ice cold vanilla latte. We’d sit cozily in the kids area, reading books (and buying them too!) totally immersed in our own little world. It was a refuge of sorts and I’ll always be grateful for the peace it gave me through some rough times. Borders is an old friend that was good to me and my daughter and a host of other people in the Silver Spring.

I got a pang in my heart today seeing the yellow and black glaring 10-40% off signs and the chairs piled up in the coffee shop. When I walked through their doors the customers seemed somewhat melancholy, shaking their heads saying how sad it was. One guy I knew said he felt like he was at a funeral. My daughter and I walked through the aisles and purchased some books, but it wasn’t the same. I can’t say I was excited about the discounts because it came at a price, the closing of a wonderful nook we will deeply miss. I plan to spend more time there as the end draws nears to say goodbye to some wonderful people.

It’s amazing how we can get attached to those things in our community and how devastating it is when we lose them. My five year old cried when she realized her favorite neighborhood hang out will not longer be there and wants to have a fundraiser to keep them in business! Unfortunately, we can’t save Borders, so I sadly bid adieu and say thank you to the people who made a bookstore so much more, you will be missed.

Chere Williams is a mother who lives and reads in Silver Spring, Maryland

2 Comments on "Saying goodbye to Borders"

  1. I’m saddened too. Been going to Borders for over 19 yrs…. You could put together a little book nook in your breakfast area or another cozy spot and have some “Borders reading and tea-time” with your little girl once in a while, to commemorate what once was.

    • I feel a sense of loss not only for Borders but for book lovers like me. I have resisted using e-readers because I love browsing in bookstores and how they become part of the fabric of a community. But times they are a changin’ and so do business models. Still, so sad.

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