Today someone asked me how I felt about the closing of Border’s Books. I told them exactly how I felt, and they responded, ” Oh, come on. That’s just survivor’s guilt.” No, it isn’t. But maybe you have to be a genuine lover of books to understand: any time a bookstore closes,the community sustains a real loss.
When you’re a bookseller, a real bookseller who gets his or her thrills from knowing you’ve found just the right translation of the Tao Te Ching for a customer who lost her beloved copy to a sticky-fingered acquaintance (it’s the Stephen Mitchell translation, if you care to know) , or that vacationer who needs just the right book for his or her week at the cabin, the thought that you won’t be there to live your passion inspires dread. Chalk it up as another loss to the idea of community: in this case, the loss of thousands of human beings who delight in the printed word and want to share that with any soul who walks through the front door. These people will not be there to help find that one book to spark the imagination and skills of a child just learning to read. They will not be there to give you a trusted recommendation for the music you need to get through the day. They will not be there for the loving grandmother who wants to find just the right math skills book to help her grandson get through middle school. And they will not be there to help with the overwhelming task of creating a literate and well-informed public.
Please take a look at some thoughtful words from a customer’s point of view http://wordhits.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/borders-we-will-miss-you/