The local Borders is closing.
I went to the mall last night. Years ago, Owings Mill Mall was nice, upscale, nearly 100% occupancy. These days, it’s run down, junky, and vast sections of storefronts stand empty.
Mainly, I wanted to go to GameStop and cash out an old pre-order, which the employees wouldn’t do. I had to go to the website and get a coupon, they said. I genuinely doubt that’s true; I was a manager with EB Games and then GameStop, and I know what they told me could not possibly be true. I may have to pull some strings and call their district manager….
Then, there was Borders.
I’ve known for a while they were closing up. I stopped there on Christmas Eve, and they were running a “Going Out Of Business” sale that day. I bought some books that day, asked when they were closing, and they didn’t know. “Mid-January, I think,” the young woman behind the counter said.
I went back the day after Christmas and bought a LEGO book I’d wanted. Castles. LEGO Castles are awesome.
I was back there last weekend. The store, which was still largely full on the day after Christmas, was last weekend empty in vast areas. The books from the back half of the store had been brought closer to the front. The discount, which had been at thirty percent, had increased to fifty percent.
I was back there last night. I bought a page-a-day calendar for the office. I need a page-a-day calendar. A wall calendar isn’t enough.
I also bought Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff.
I was browsing, rather aimlessly, and there, in the midst of the social sciences books, right near a copy of Going Rouge (not a misspelling), was The Right Stuff.
Despite having easily seen the movie fifty times over the past twenty years, I’ve never read the book.
At fifty percent off, I couldn’t pass that up.
It was sad to wander around Borders. I’ve shopped there for at least a decade; it was the closest bookstore to my grandmother’s house. I bought the novelization of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine‘s “What You Leave Behind” there. I bought the first two books of the Double Helix mini-series there. Those were a long time ago.
It used to be a nice store. Soon, it will be just a memory.