There was a community feeling in at this week. Shoppers browsed the dwindling supply of books, cards, music and stationery for bargains—and there are many!—but the atmosphere was melancholy. The employees are doing their best, still smiling, offering assistance, wandering the aisles looking for the titles customers want.
The computers aren't working now, and as the stock sells out, the shelves are rolled away, leaving empty spaces behind. The coffee shop is closed and dark. There is still a lot of merchandise, bestsellers, midlist books, cookbooks and travel books, all at bargain basement prices. I knew it was my farewell trip, and I came home with a bag full of treasures.
Redmond is going to miss this store. No one seems to know what business will move into that big, two-story space. Another bookstore? Maybe. Another chain clothing store? Probably. Book lovers, unfortunately, will have to drive to Bellevue or up to Woodinville. There's always Amazon.com, but a lot of folks still like to shop for books the old-fashioned way—browsing titles, reading spines, pulling books from shelves to read the covers. It's a sad time for these readers, as well as for the employees who now need to look for new jobs.
We'll miss you, Borders!
Editor's note: Stuart Burnett, the store manager at Borders, said Friday that the store probably has enough inventory to stay open for another six to eight weeks. Some of the store's 30 employees have found work, but several others are still looking, he said. As for Burnett, he's looking for other work in retail and thinking about opening his own bookstore elsewhere in Redmond.