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It is a dark and stormy night.

(February 15, 2011 - Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images North America)
(February 15, 2011 - Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images North America)


By KC on Tuesday 19 Jul 2011

Today, Borders, you remember Borders, a place you used to go to buy books and music, announced that they are going to close their remaining 300 stores.

This is, of course, after they and Barnes and Noble, gobbled up all the independent bookstores that employed people who actually read the books that they sold.

I felt so guilty when I heard the news.  I looked at my IPad sitting in the corner and thought about how happy I was when I bought it that I didn't have to lug books coast to coast when I travel for business. I delighted in the newfound lightness of my carry on.  I considered all the books I had shipped this year FREE because of Amazon Prime.

I thought about how I am a solider of the brave new world telling my clients to sell things online and that the retail storefront is becoming obsolete. But I didn't mean the bookstore! What have I done to facilitate the untimely demise of one of the truly magical places.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love books. I love them, the print on the page, the feel of them, the smell of them, the cover art. They are around me wherever I go.  I keep them near to give me comfort, to make me feel familiar no matter how far I am from home.  My bookcase is next to my bed. The first thing I see when I open my eyes in the morning and the last as I close my eyes at night are my books: Charlottes Web, To Kill a Mockingbird, Catcher in the Rye, The Bluest Eye, Keats, Dickinson.... they watch over me. And I am grateful to own them.

I hope there will be a rebirth of the independent bookstore.

I hope children will have the joy of feeling small among the stacks.

I hope we will endow the arts, honor the writers and create places where their books, their life's work can live and be displayed.  How will we be reminded to “get cracking!”, there is so much to read, so many things to learn if we don’t see them heaped on tables in front of us? I don't know Amazon's staff.  How can I care about their favorite books?

When they close Borders gaping holes will be created in retail centers coast to coast. We will be creating gaping holes in the fabric of our lives too.

I'm sorry Borders. I got too big for my britches, too cool and slick and teched up and for what? I will add the bookstore to the growing list of things I will have to tell my grandchildren about someday. 

I am assuming I will have real grandchildren and not avatars, but we will leave that for another day.

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