How Borders changed my life

Okay, this post should actually be called ‘How I decided to change my life in Borders’ but that’s not quite as catchy, is it?

In November, 2007 I went to New York with my lovely friend Lisa Clark who, while we were there, had a meeting to go to (with her publishers – how cool?). I waited for her in the Borders on Park Avenue. The photo above was taken out of the cafe window. I had a hot chocolate and wrote in the Sesame Street notebook I’d bought the previous day in the Times Square branch of Virgin.

I wrote I’m sitting in a Borders off Park Avenue, New York, NEW YORK!

I wrote Q. What do I want?

A. To enjoy everything I do.

I wrote Q. What do I enjoy?

A. Reading, writing fiction, blogs

I wrote Plans: To enjoy every day. To feel inspired and excited and energised and that I’m making progress. Every day.

The following April, I got my book deal and now? Three years later? I do enjoy every day. I’m not sure I’m actually making progress every day, but I’m working on it.

But the last three years haven’t been quite so positive for Borders and the company is apparently in the final stages of a bankruptcy application. They’re hoping to be able to keep a good number of stores open and I really hope that’s possible. It was bad enough when they closed here, if they close everywhere it will be terrible… For readers, for writers and for readers dreaming about becoming writers.

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15 thoughts on “How Borders changed my life

  1. It is quite scary just how many of the biggest book chains are closing down. In the end there will be no where for us to go to stroke books. Amazon is good, but you just can’t see and touch the books can you?

  2. I’m sad I’ll never get to go to that Borders, but it sounds like a fabulous moment. (And I was in NY then, too! Probably spending my way through The Strand, epiphany-free…) I have had some wonderful times in the Borders in Perth, Australia and London, though. I hate that they’re closing like this.

      1. That’s true, hopefully this one will stay open. It’s seemed like such doom and gloom for them for so long now that I’m still not convinced their long-term prognosis will be great (and godknows when I’ll make it back to NYC) but I welcome being proven overly-pessimistic.

  3. I was there, then, too! Shocked to realise it was 3 and a quarter years ago. I love those kind of moments. But have you noticed that books in Waterstone’s and Blackwells (some of their stores seem to be inserting an apostrophe now too before the ‘s’ but I won’t accept it) are more expensive in-store than online? I have long thought that in time all bookshops will close and never re-open. Last week a sales assistant in Waterstone’s even advised me to buy online. Postage is free, too. There is no thrill about buying books in Tesco or online at all but I can see how it’s cheaper all round to trade online. Big shame, though – makes me very sad.

    1. Yep, you can see why they’re in trouble really. More than once someone in a shop has said they can order something in for me and have it within the week when I know full well I can get in online quicker and cheaper.

      I’d hate to see them go altogether though.

  4. I’m sorry to hear about Borders! I love that store. We had two back home in lil ol Buffalo, NY and I used to get lost (happily) in there for hours. Actually, I was quite happy being in there, surrounded by all those books!

    1. Me too, Michele. When we travelled in the US we spent a LOT of time in bookshops cos we had no money and they were good places to hang out in for free. (I love Barnes & Noble too.)

  5. It’s a real shame about Borders – I do hope they manage to keep some of their shops open. At least in Bristol we have a Foyles opening next month which is a bit of good news at least.

    Anyhoo that’s a really inspiring story – thanks for sharing 😀

  6. Maybe our stupid excuse for a government should make Libraries merge with bookshops where we can all have the best of BOTH worlds, there’s way too much misery going down at the moment. Hate it.

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