Monday, November 21, 2011


Sometime in the past month a new bookstore has invaded our town and set itself in the shell of what was Borders: Books A Million. My first impression of Books A Million wasn't great; the only Books A Million I've been to was the one in Dupont Circle. It was a tiny place with not a big selection of books.

The other day I found myself walking into the new bookstore that had roosted itself where my former hang-out spot was. My expectations were low. My friend who I met in there texted me earlier that she could cry from the unfamiliarity of it all.

As I found my friend in the back, I noticed the placing of the different sections. Borders had it's quirks with its design. The college books were right next to the cafe, which was perfect for us. My friends and I would joke about how the romance section was taking over the science fiction section. Here the sci fi was separated from the romance novels. From where the sci fi section is now used the be the World War II section, where we would sit in the chairs and spy on the piano teacher from our school who we would see from time to time perusing the Harlequin novels. Next to the WWII section was the religion section, which were shelves of bibles with one row dedicated to such heathen pursuits as the Kama Sutra.

Our favorite section to hang out in was definitely the psychology section. It was 3 tall shelves set closely together forming a horseshoe. On one side were the self-help books, another side had gender studies, and the third side had books about relationships. They had 2 chairs placed next to each other.

The cafe area was filled with junk had yet to be configured. Instead the college books were in the back. The WWII books were now a single row on a mainly empty bookshelf in the back. The non-Christian texts were replaced by bible covers. The psychology section was no more. The only chairs to be seen were 6 neatly arranged next to the music section.

When I looked for a book that I swore I saw in the sci fi section, I realized sadly that I was thinking of Borders. But this was no Borders. The people here weren't the same people who came to Borders. At Borders I once helped a man with his algebra homework. Another man once trusted my friend with plugging his iPod into her laptop.

I suppose I'll learn to love it as I must in order to keep the memories of Borders alive. But I'll be frank, they better have good chai tea latte once they get their cafe together.


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