Thursday, August 11, 2011


The news that Borders the bookseller had failed to resolve its bankruptcy and planned to close all its four hundred and more stores with a loss of eleven thousand jobs is nothing new. The bankruptcy filing was announced last February, and the closures three weeks ago. It is only when the banner goes up over the local branch, and you see the interior resembling a literary yard sale that the truth is brought home.

I will miss the Riverhead Borders. I rarely bought more than magazines there,except at Christmas when I would purchase a few BBC DVDs, but as a place to browse and spend half an hour and more picking titles off shelves it was unequaled. (Note: Perhaps in merely browsing I, with a million others, tipped the scales of bankruptcy.) But it was more than the bookstore. I already miss Seattle’s Best, the café that occupied a corner of the cavernous building.

It was there that I must have sipped dozens of gallons of cappuccino, and idled away even more hours. Reading, writing, watching – even just thinking. My favorite seat was a small window table but if that was occupied I would gravitate to one of the corner armchairs. Like a familiar and favorite church there was always somewhere to sit and muse. Now all is gone, stripped and packed away. And to add insult to injury, there is now nowhere in Riverhead to enjoy good coffee in a café surrounding. Nowhere.

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