Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The End

Boys II Men got it right.  It is so hard to say goodbye.  I hate goodbyes and I rarely say them.  I prefer, "see you later", "until next time", "talk soon".  Goodbye is just so final.  Sadly, the time has come to say goodbye - to Borders.  I've had a hard time going there since they announced the news.  Sure, there are some great deals, but something about all those loud posters shouting "It's the End!" and people walking out with bookshelves, chairs, cafe equipment - it just makes me sad.  I know, you might think I'm being a bit dramatic about this whole thing.  I mean, come on, it's just a bookstore.  Well, to me it's not just a bookstore or it wouldn't pull on the heartstrings so much.

A couple days ago I sat in the near-empty children's section while my kids played with the last of the puppets and bargain books.  I was choked up just being there and started to think about why.  Here's what I got.

I've been going to Borders for over 15 years.  It has seen me through pretty much every stage of adulthood.  Throughout the years, you would find me:

- Writing out lesson plans as a nervous first year teacher, buying too many books with too little of a paycheck.
- In the cafe: corner table, ocean-side, with journal, a hot chai and big dreams as I planned out the next phase of life.

- Listening to the latest jazz album in the music section, wishing I could scat.

- Studying for the LSAT.

- Learning the law (I thought me and my bleeding heart were going to save the world).  

- Having coffee and dessert with my boyfriend, turned fiance, turned husband.

- Studying for the bar exam (with earplugs).

- Buying books on finance, health, buying your first home, owning your own business, living the life God intended.

- Reading What to Expect When You're Expecting.

- On the floor during children's story time.

- In the cafe with 2 daughters, on Valentines Day, an hour before getting a call that I had an abnormal MRI.

- Researching chronic auto-immune disease, diet, health, healing, pain, faith.

- Buying How to Write and Publish a Book - For Dummies.

Yes, Borders has seen me through adulthood.  If they could trace my purchases, the books and music alone would tell a story - a life's journey.  I don't want to be there on the last day.  I don't want to see it empty.  Somehow, I want to remember it bustling with people, shelves stocked, coffee brewing, music playing - full of life, full of stories, full of tomorrows.

Thank you, Borders, for helping me grow and learn and thrive.  It has been an amazing ride.



  1. I'm experiencing a similar sense of loss. I got my kids engaged in reading through the children's section at Borders. I found, and learned to appreciate, genres of music I never would have been exposed to without Borders. I think it made a positive impact on literacy, by adding a coolness factor to books: one that the internet and libraries can't match. I used to love browsing through a stack of new book while sipping a strong cup of coffee. How could they fold after all the money I gave them? Luckily, you live within striking distance of Powell's Books.


    Jed's and Kim's Friend

  2. wow kim! such a nice post dedicated to BORDERS! I only hope that someone says something this nice about me when my time is up :)

  3. Thanks for voicing what I had been feeling but was too hurt to face. Borders has been my "Guarimba", comfort zone, happy place. It's where I would go to get my mind off a failing marriage, my "me" time after having a baby, the coffee shop where I journaled away my belief in God and desperately sought answers to unanswerable questions. To everything a season. My new mantra is less reading and more living. I have found enough answers to live a Happy life. Thank you Borders!

  4. We are so alike.

    I'm sad to see Borders go. I would really cry if Barnes & Noble closed.

    Loved this post. So beautiful.