Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Life and Death of a Bookstore

The very first Borders Bookstore closed its doors for the last time two days ago, Monday September 12, 2011. Located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, it was started by two brothers in 1971, Tom and Louis Borders, with $500 worth of stock.

Todd Leopold wrote a very moving tribute/obituary on CNN.  Join me for a moment in the world of book lovers, bookstore owners, managers and employees to pay our respects.

 "...when done right, there's something about a bookstore.

It's a library, a gathering spot, a refuge, a journey. Often it's small, maybe an 800-square-foot storefront jammed into a city street. Or it's idiosyncratic: an old house or converted barn, a rambling lobby or strip-mall space. It may not even be in your neighborhood, but that's where you go.

At its best, it's crowded: sometimes with people, always with books -- books stacked to the ceiling. Books lined up in bookcases. Books spread out on tables, highlighted on platforms, displayed in twirling, 5-foot-high wire racks.

Don't know what you're looking for? That's part of the adventure. A bookstore is governed by serendipity. You walk in and the world falls away. There's no rush. It's just you and the books, these pockets of words and paper that somehow transport you to a different place.
The best bookstores have a certain feel, a certain comfort to them. They're stately but not forbidding. The employees are a mix of the young and the eccentric, college students and lifers. The front of the store features their recommendations, a little offbeat, a little intriguing. If you're looking for something specific, they know where to find it; if you don't know what you're looking for, they can be your Virgil and Beatrice, guiding you through the world.
It is a place with a soul."

Click on the following link to read the entire article.


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