Goodbye, Borders

by Jay Nordlinger

There will be no more Borders bookstores, the company having gone belly up. Rich Lowry devotes his column to this subject today. I have a mention in Impromptus.

I say that I have shed a little tear over the passing of Borders — just a little one. The company began in my hometown of Ann Arbor, Mich. The original store is — was, at this point? — there. We all spent a fair amount of time in it.

Almost 20 years ago now, I was living in Washington, D.C., and went into the Borders on K Street, I think. On the wall was a picture of the original staff in Ann Arbor. I recognized most of them. Nostalgia City (as the first Bush might say).

Thanks to the Internet, we don’t need bookstores, I suppose. But what about browsing? I feel the same way about record stores — CD stores — and their passing. What about browsing?

In the Manhattan neighborhood where I live, there used to be a giant Tower Records and a giant Barnes & Noble, across the street from each other. (The Left used to hate chains, and war against them, but they eventually made their peace.) It was a browser’s delight. But no mo’.

The Internet is fantastic, if you know what you’re looking for. But I have not yet learned how to browse online. Maybe there’s a trick or two.

“Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Was there ever a great business venture that came out of Ann Arbor, “a small citadel of the Left,” as I have called it for years? Well, there was Borders — and Domino’s Pizza. The pizza’s still hanging in there.

P.S. Forget about the books in bookstores — I’m now not sure where to buy cards. I mean blank cards, that you send to folks through the good ol’ U.S. Mail.