June 7, 2011

Bye bye Borders...

The music, kids, and gift sections, and the check-out counter - 6/2/11

What does the recent closing of our Borders bookstore in Kahului mean to our Maui community?

Here are some of my friends' thoughts. 

My friend Susan Pirsch, our school counselor, says it so eloquently . . . 

"I loved going into the old Borders (ouch it hurts to write old). The coffee was pretty decent and I loved walking around with a cup checking out new arrivals, the religion section and when the mood struck, looking at history and current affairs books. The clerks were familiar faces and the "hand sells" were usually worth buying. I always ran into people I hadn't seen forever. It was a great time killer between things and what joy to walk out with a new stack of books to find new acquaintances in and to visit new places with!

I miss it a great deal and find myself at a loss for reading material. When I see a book I want I have to go online to order it. I am trying to have a bookstore experience with Powells but the multi-week wait for my purchase is trying. And where can I find new publications? Where can I see what "Granta" has published or "The Sun" or "Tricycle?" Do I now have to subscribe just to not miss anything?

I am now an isolated reader--just me and my Nook. I hate that I can't share my books easily with it and that buying a real book requires a trip to Lahaina.

This is a present I wish were different. I miss Borders and am sad its management thought buying knick knacks (like the fuzzy neon Christmas statues) made sense. They made some bad decisions and we book lovers are paying for it with real life style changes..."

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The literature and nonfiction section - 6/2/11
Chris talks about his father:

"My father's favorite thing to do down country was to go down to Borders, pick up a few good books and magazines, and sit in the cafe with a cup of coffee. Now that it's closed, I'm trying to encourage him to look up new things to read on his new iPad, even though you can't beat the atmosphere of a good bookstore coffeehouse..." 

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Lindsay will miss Borders too: 

"I used to work at Office Max, and I would often spend my lunch break at Borders looking through all of the books. I was still in high school at the time, so I had the luxury of having the time to read books that weren't assigned to me for schoolwork! I used to pick out a book or two every week or so. I'm going to miss the Borders in Kahului terribly. I know there is a Borders Express in the mall, but it feels like such a watered down version of the brick and mortar bookshop I've come to know and love. I love my Kindle, and I use it often-- but there's still something so satisfying about feeling the weight of a book in your hand and flipping through the pages. And nothing smells quite like a new book! I was very upset when I came home this summer break and learned it closed."

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Stephen simply said: 
"RIP Borders"
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And as for me? 

I tweeted @anuheayagi in March:  
“Borders closing isn’t all about buying books. [It’s] sad because we’re losing a vibrant PLACE that serves as a barometer of who we are and what we value.”
Anu included the tweet in her Maui Vents article, which cheerfully outlined the other places people could now buy books on Maui: 

Beyond Borders: Thought the closing of the Dairy Road store is the end of book-buying on Maui? Think again

Last evening, as I was enjoying tapas and crepes with some fellow Maui librarians, the subject of the closing of Borders came up. There was a collective sigh of dismay and regret.

"What can we as librarians do to make up for the loss of Borders?" someone asked.

We bandied about ideas for recapturing some of the richness that surrounded our Borders Kahului store. 

So-o-o-o, stay tuned ... :D

Do you have any ideas?

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@mauilibrarian2