So I guess this is kind of a eulogy for Borders, but I loved going there and being that I’m over 30 & grew up with paper books, I have a soft spot in my heart for any bookstore. But Borders, in particular, because any time I was having a rough time writing, I would leave my kids with my husband and take off for Borders cafe.
I loved the solid wood chairs and the feel of the tables. I loved the warm, inviting atmosphere and the banks of windows letting in the light. I loved being around other writers and book lovers. I loved sipping iced coffee and having time enough to myself to think.
The best memory I have, though, comes from last summer. I’d been working on my latest novel ~ a World War II story from the point of view of the Germans ~ for over two years and had some 500 pages that were mostly disjointed scenes and jotted ideas. I had a vision for it in my head, sure, but that wasn’t coming through on the page. I was beyond frustrated. Exasperated might be a better word.
So I spent nearly every weekend ~ props to my husband for watching the kids ~ sitting in Borders cafe at a little table by the window, wearing the seat down in the shape of my rump. I wrote long-hand on a legal pad, molding and fixing and rewriting and editing. The barista, Vicky, got to know me by name and, since I always ordered the same thing, started making my drink when she saw me in line. I don’t know how much time I logged there, but I filled 8 legal pads by the end of summer.
Most importantly, I fixed my story.
For that, I am grateful that the lovely people at Borders let me stay for hours and hours on end for no more than the cost ~ less than 2 bucks ~ of a cup of coffee.
RIP Borders. You will be missed, at least by me.
That’s my Borders memory. What’s yours?
Grand Prize Winner, Grant Winner, & Silver Medal Winner