An old photo, but it still breaks my heart. Image: chicago.racked.com
After this week, Borders will be no more. The Lakeview location, which closed down this spring, is now a temporary store for Halloween costumes.
It’s no secret Borders had been in trouble for a long time. Rumors of closing were circulating when I worked there in 2006. Still, when the list of first cuts appeared online and I saw my beloved Lakeview store near the top, I felt like I’d lost a friend.
My relationship with the Clark and Diversey Borders began in 2000, when my boyfriend at the time moved to Lakeview. I’ve loved reading my whole life, and it’s where I went to kill time and study. When I returned to Lakeview five years ago, my apartment was within walking distance and Borders was my favorite place to browse, drink coffee or just clear my head. Something about the hum of fellow bibliophiles always comforted me. That same year, I worked there as a seasonal bookseller, rushing in from daytime temp gigs and recommending Christmas gifts until midnight. As I started writing, I’d pop in and pull up a table to get my scribbles on.
It may sound silly to have a relationship with a corporate behemoth, but that’s how I felt. I visited sales at Lakeview and Evanston (another favorite), and practiced the psychology of letting go. I weighed the benefits of a digital reader and ended up with a Nook. Now when I feel the need for a dead-tree tome or a new Moleskine, I make sure to patronize Unabridged (3251 N. Broadway), so I can support a local business.
And yet, it still broke my heart when Borders announced it was closing all doors. I’ll keep reading forever. But it won’t be quite the same.
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