Borders bookstore has announced that they will be closing their remaining 399 stores, putting 10,000+ people out of work and many cities without a place to read. More importantly, holy balls, Clarksville is losing Borders!
I like the Clarksville Borders, period. As much as I rabble rabble about this and that, Borders was a clean square in a poo-covered tapestry. Their selection of books is surprisingly good, as is their array of magazines. They’re always relatively well-organized, even when they’d throw me off with their complete redesigns. The staff has always been friendly, pointing me in the right direction or asking how I’m doing (although a bit too pushy with the rewards program garbage). The coffee shop is adequate (and once again very friendly), and the free Wi-Fi pulls in all the low-income students and their laptops.
Borders even has random anthromorphic mascots like Winnie the Pooh and creepy latina girl that stop by and scare kids on Saturdays.
Sure, Borders has its issues. Greasy mallrats trollop through the store showing off their asstastic ringtones on their Cricket phones. They think they’re at the library at school so they need to be obnoxiously ignorant so their friends don’t think they caught the dreaded disease called “education”. Pretentiously dressed Army dudes tend to meander in the philosophy books a bit too long, possibly trying to obtain an elusive hook-up with a clueless student in her second semester at APSU. And as much as I brag about the book selection, my success rate has probably hovered around 70 percent when looking for a specific title–i.e. off to Amazon!
But I could overlook all the flaws. Not sure how other Borders compared, but Clarksville’s seemed to be booming. Now the Governor’s Square Mall is doomed to get something stupid like a giant sprawling leather coat shop or better yet…NOTHING. Borders was one of the few reasons I went to the mall, and the list is now even shorter.
“Hold up Clarky, what about Books-A-Million?” Well, I would agree that their selection of books is actually pretty comparable (and their magazines are actually more numerous). But B-A-M could be one of the least organized bookstores I’ve ever been in. It’s like I walked into a store ran by a family of crazy cat owners and A&E Hoarders rejects. Finding a book makes me feel like Indiana Jones, like I just killed several Nazis and solved an ancient Incan puzzle to reach this holy grail. I’ll definitely shop there, but it just isn’t the same. Hastings…well, yeah. It’s Hastings. Borders would always be sending me 20-30 percent off coupons, which I was more than happy to use.
I hope that somehow Barnes and Noble will magically decide to take up shop in the mall. But that may be wishing too much, what with all the other things Clarksville’s been begging for. It’s a sad time for readers in Clarksville, but especially children. As much as kids bother me, I could always appreciate them picking up books and reading in the store. At least more than seeing the bastards grab beer hats and sex toys at Spencer’s.
I’ll keep buying books from Amazon, or downloading them onto my PC/iPad. But it won’t be the same in Clarksville without Borders. I’m sure somewhere the store manager is wrapped up on her couch watching “You’ve Got Mail”.