|Borders Going Out of Business Photo copyright ©2011 M. A. Burstein.|
A few years ago, Downtown Crossing boasted two chain bookstores, a Barnes & Noble and this Borders. My understanding is that the Barnes & Noble closed when the property owner raised the rent, confident that they could get a retailer willing to pay if B&N wasn't. B&N wasn't, and years later, the site is still vacant.
I have to admit that the loss of that B&N hit me more than the loss of Borders does now. I grew up loving many different bookstores, including Coliseum Books, The Strand, and Shakespeare & Co., but all of those were in Manhattan. A short walk from where I lived in Forest Hills, however, were a Waldenbooks and a Barnes & Noble. So I have a more atavistic attachment to those store names than to Borders, even though Waldenbooks was eventually bought by Borders.
|Borders Going Out of Business Sale Photo copyright ©2011 M. A. Burstein.|
Although the downtown Borders had laid off a friend of mine a while back, making me stay away from it, I decided to go inside to check out the sale. I was curious to see what items were left, and what the atmosphere was like. The store was hopping, but I suspect that the staffers who are about to lose their jobs didn't exactly feel excited about it.
Oddly enough, I found myself uninterested in taking advantage of the sale. I did find a few books that would have once interested me if I had the chance to buy them at deep discounts, such as the fortieth anniversary Doonesbury collection and a reprint of the large hardcover companion to the Carl Sagan Cosmos series. But whether it's because our own finances are tight or being in a closing bookstore depressed me, I just couldn't bring myself to buy anything.
There was also this, which I noticed in the science fiction section.
|Borders Science Fiction Section at 60% Off Photo copyright ©2011 M. A. Burstein.|
The Downtown Crossing Borders was one of many stories that was very supportive of me when I Remember the Future came out in 2008, and they stocked many copies, all of which I cheerfully signed. Seeing my own book as part of the going out of business sale is like the final nail in the coffin, to overuse a cliché.
|We Can Remember It For You On Sale Photo copyright ©2011 M. A. Burstein.|
At this point, I believe downtown Boston has only two major large bookstores left, a Barnes & Noble in the Prudential Center and the one in Kenmore Square that serves as the Boston University Bookstore. All I can say is, I'm still glad we have Pandemonium, the New England Mobile Book Fair, the Harvard Bookstore, Newtonville Books, and Brookline Booksmith around.