The Lost, Lamented Borders

atlwholePaul Luis pulled open the inside foyer door and held it for Jack. “Man, look at the size of this place. It’s huge.”

Inside the foyer there were piles of books. Through the inside doors were two long tables stacked with more books. To the right were book shelves that went on to the café against the far wall. To the right, an information desk and behind it more shelves.

“There’s a coffee shop in here,” Paul said.

“Yeah, we have to check that, too.” Jack headed for the information, weaving around long blond oak tables piled with more books, so Paul followed. “Hello, we’re here from the fire department and we need to inspect the premises.”

The heavyset blond woman behind the desk stared at him for a moment before she blinked. “Let me get a manager for you.” She leaned over a paper under the glass counter top and picked up the phone. “Colleen, please call two, two, two. Colleen, two, two, two,” she said over the PA system. Then she stared at the phone intently for a minute before jabbing a button. “Colleen, there’s some firemen here.… They need to inspect the premises.… Okay.”


I worked for 10 years at Borders Books & Music. I loved it there. Had the opportunity to go overseas to teach English not come up, I would have been there until the day the doors closed. Actually I was at my old store a couple of days before the store closed because one of my life’s goals had been to have a picture of myself at the information desk holding my book and I just barely got it, but it’s the photo on my FB page. I loved working at Borders. In fact, we just had a reunion this summer, 6 years after the store closed. Not that this books store is exactly that bookstore. <cough> Not entirely.


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