Sunday, July 24, 2011

Good-Bye, Borders

Since I was already in the Loop this morning, I decided to drop into Borders at State and Randolph to peruse the going out of business sale. Have to admit—it was kind of depressing. The supplies are starting to dwindle, although the sales aren’t that impressive just yet. And all around me I could hear sentiments echoing my own, as people walked through the doors and sighed or gasped or said “Wow, I can’t believe it.”

I adore bookstores. Especially large ones with a cafĂ© where you can spend the whole afternoon. My family and I used to hop in the car on a Sunday, head to the bookstore, and spend hours looking at books and music. It was one of my favorite family activities—we all loved it.

When I was studying abroad at Oxford, I found a safe haven at Borders. It felt very American, and at a time when I was overwhelmingly homesick, that meant quite a lot. I could just head to Borders and almost forget I was hundreds of miles away from home and across the pond. Plus, that was where I discovered the Frappuccino (wink).

Ever since, Borders has been a place where I go if I want to be alone, or if I’m feeling sad. I find solace in books, like so many others. Now, I’ll probably spend more time at After-Words, my favorite little used book shop on Illinois. It’s a little further away from the office, but much closer than the one Barnes & Noble in the Gold Coast. I can get lost for hours at After-Words, and it’s local. Hoping they stick around for a while...