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Why I Like Borders


Berlin Wall by Thierry Noir from Wikipedia

East-West Border In Berlin, photo by Thierry Noir from Wikipedia

Today I received an e-mail from Borders notifying me that Judith Orloff, a M.D. is giving a talk at the Columbus Circle Borders in NYC. Since, I am currently in South Carolina and will not return to my home in Maine until the spring, chances are pretty slim that I will not attend the doctor’s talk. However, I am glad to know that this superstore bookseller is sponsoring this writer, who I never heard of and will still be around for awhile, despite the fact that they had to close a third of their enterprises.

In some ways Borders is like the federal government. That is because as good informed citizens we are supposed to dislike the overweight central authority and instead support a smaller, more humane national capitol. But in reality, the feds provide jobs, maintain roads, regulate commerce, keep carcinogenics out of our food and perform a bunch of other useful tasks. They federal regulators have also been known, on occasion, to stimulate the economy through a variety of financial activities. OK, not everybody will agree on this analysis, but hopefully you understand what I am trying to say.

On a similar note Borders is a bookselling option that we should all avoid, in lieu of the smaller sole proprietorships that can be found everywhere. However, this retailing giant does support individual authors, stocks its outlets with a vast number of new titles and serves up a damn good cup of coffee. If you want to check out the market, there is no better place to go. Just grab a cup of java or a chai latte and start browsing. You won’t be disappointed, for the selection available today is amazing and a bit sobering to anyone who thinks they have a bestseller floating around in their brain.

And despite how much someone may dislike this giant chain, the idea of this retailer going under may not be all that pleasant. For Borders does sell books and support authors. Their big missed opportunity has been the e-book. But who knows what the future may bring.

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