Friday, September 16, 2011

Goodnight, Borders

I haven't written on Borders Books in a bit; meanwhile they've been liquidating themselves into oblivion. It's now being reported that the last few stores still in existence will cease to be this weekend. I never really shopped there, and have no personal connection; also I work at a bookstore that isn't a Borders, and so had a general notion of disliking them for many years. But it doesn't matter. I am still a bit sad about this, as long as it has been brewing, still a touch moved by the disappearance of a huge chain that, in most places that it is leaving, will never be replaced. I have been reading a book called Empire of the Summer Moon, about the last days of the Comanches who were for a time the big power of the Southwest. They had a great number of rivals in their day. I wonder if the little tribes that had been oppressed and beaten by the Comanches paused for a moment as the last bands of that once proud nation rode into their degrading reservation life and out of the plains. I wonder if those tribes thought that it was a loss to their people for the Comanches to be gone. From what I've read, they wouldn't have, but of course their rivalries were things of blood and fire and terror, and in books, it's only sales and jobs. So I can feel sorrow, I suppose. And I do. Goodnight, Borders. You meant a lot to a lot of people, and I'm sorry that for large swaths of the nation, there will now be no bookstores at all. I'm sorry for all the people who lost their jobs. And that, I suppose, is the last I will write on this topic.

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