Borders To Liquidate Assets: Share Your Borders Memories Meme

by @thewritermama on July 18, 2011 · 9 comments

Borders has sold me a lot of books over the years. But not as many as they used to lately.

Apparently I am not the only wayward customer.

I was especially enamored by their huge store on Michigan Avenue, right next to the Water Tower in downtown Chicago.

This was when I was a city girl. You know, back in the day.

I don’t remember what year the superstore opened. It wasn’t always there. Not when I arrived in 1988.

But once it did open, I hung out there an awful lot. Wandering the shelves. Cruising for books that called out to me.

This reminds me that it was in Borders on Michigan Avenue where I got the job lead from one of the cashiers that finally sprung me from the city I had lived in for nine years.

I went from Michigan Avenue, where I worked in the John Hancock Building, to the Sangre De Christo mountains of New Mexico on a train, taking only what I could carry.

But that’s another story for another day.

During the times I spent in Borders cruising books I was mostly dying to leave that city. My God, I was desperate to get out of there. Do you know that feeling? When it’s way past time to move on and you are still right where you don’t want to be? That was me then.

Borders was a respite—an escape from a place where I didn’t really want to be living and hadn’t wanted to be living for years.

But back to the books. There were books. There were lots of books—tons of them—spread out over multiple floors. I don’t remember if it was two floors or three. At that time in my life, I spent an awful lot of time in the basement of Borders where all of the self-help, creativity, and spirituality books were.

I would walk out of those revolving doors (I think it was revolving doors) with a stack of books, spending like $50-$75 bucks at a time.

I had a ton of astrology books back then. Like a whole shelf full. Today, only a few of my favorites are still with me. I have saved the best of my best and given away, donated, or traded in the rest.

Today, I spend what I used to spend at Borders at Amazon almost each month, probably not quite.

The closest bookstore is Borders at about twenty minutes away without traffic. I have never been as enamored with it as I was with that one on Michigan Avenue.

I think that Michigan Avenue store was special. It had an energy about it. A kind of magic.

Or maybe the magic was in me. I’m not sure. An awful lot of longing went on in me in that store and what I was longing for then…was really the life I have today.

Thanks, Borders. You did me a whole lot of good at a time when I really needed you.

Regardless what anyone says about you. You were good to me. And I appreciate it.

Do you have any Borders memories? What do you want to say to Borders? Good or bad, share your thoughts and ping this post if you want to share.

~ Photo by monsieur paradis

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  • Lkelley78

    I have a very special place in my heart for Borders. I have a family member who worked in various locations then was promoted to traveling all over to open their various locations. I worked in a store in the San Francisco Bay Area location as a merchandising supervisor for only 2 years, but I never loved a 9-5 more, and met some great people. I also happened to meet my current husband while working for them. I left right before moving to the Oregon coast with my husband and I always thought we would be able to return for a visit and talk about when we met.

  • “A Farewell Love-Note: As Borders Books Closes, my letter about our 15 year romance” http://oliviahennis.wordpress.​com/2011/07/18/a-farewell-love​-note/
    I would love to share my memories–please give a read! It means so much to me.

  •  I also have a very special place in my heart for Borders. I used to call it my home away from home. I felt so comfortable there, and it had everything I needed…..coffee, books, and for a while, they had some nice musical entertainment as well (Santa Rosa, CA store)…I used to go there with my friend Gail to look at the books and drink coffee…..some fine times. Then, when I wrote my own book, Borders (Alex the Santa Rosa sales manager, in particular) was very nice to me. I had three book signings there and they always took some of my books for their shelves. I am very sad about this….

  • Tracey Ceurvels

    How coincidental–just yesterday in an e-book I’m writing I wrote about you and Borders! Here’s what I wrote–and I’ll be giving away the book on my new web site so I hope to send people your way because you’ve been inspiring to me).

    Back in 2008, I was wheeling my newborn around in
    her stroller in the mall at Columbus Circle in NYC. At Borders Bookstore, I
    came across this book: Writer Mama, by Christina Katz. Those two words, writer
    + mama, spoke to me. I can still do this,
    I thought. That book helped me see that one day in the near future, I would
    still do what I’d done before Baby S was born (thought admittedly I wouldn’t be
    lounging around for hours and hours with my laptop at the library anymore; work
    was now squeezed into chunks of time). And even if you’re not a mom but you have a desire to write, Christina Katz has other books to help if you’re stuck in any
    way. In her words, she writes books about, “that place where personal
    empowerment meets writing.” So if you want to write and don’t know where to
    start or you need a writing boost, grab one of her books or even take one of her classes.  But my other Borders story is related to 9/11. In 2001 I worked 2 blocks from Ground Zero and used to go to Border’s during my lunch break, as it was the only bookstore around. Just a few days before 9/11 I’d bought some books but wanted to return one of them and was planning on doing so that Tuesday during lunch. Well needless to say, I didn’t. I still have the books with the Borders WTC bookmarks in them. A very tiny reminder of pre-9/11.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing these stories, Tracey. 🙂

  • Pingback: Farewell My Friend | MyCreativeChaos()

  • before we were married, my husband and I would have very cheap dates at Borders. We would get one large coffee that we shared and each curate a selection of books from around the store then snuggle up together on the couch going through our books for hours.  

  • On days that I couldn’t sit on Oak Street Beach and wonder where my life would lead, I would hole up in Borders. In the windy city, there were a lot of those days. Days of escape from writing theological thesis and  questioning the certainty of those around me, found solace in the music department under a pair of headphones, travelling far away from Michigan Avenue…

  • Ted Henkle

    My fondest memory is similar to Judy’s.  I had a very pleasant date at the Borders coffee shop near the Tacoma Mall.  We didn’t get married, or anything like that, but it was very nice experience.  Visions of romance aside, I always found movie soundtrack CDs that I couldn’t find in record stores.  (Anyone remember those?)

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