Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Out of the Ashes

I love living on the legendary North Shore of Oahu. My neighbors bring me home-grown bananas, I can walk to the beach, and I'm pretty sure my whole town would survive just fine in an all-out nuclear war.

One of the few downsides - the nearest bookstore used to be 23 miles away. I say "used to" because the nearest bookstore was a Borders and they've gone out of business.

Now I have to drive 25 miles to the nearest Barnes and Noble.

We heard that Borders was selling off their bookshelves, so we went down on Saturday to check it out. The place was post-apocalyptically empty. Only a few books left, scattered randomly on mostly empty shelves. I still managed to collect four titles that caught my interest - especially at 70% off. All the tall wall shelves had been bought, but some of the two-sided island shelves were still there. My husband and I picked one out and called the manager over to fill out an invoice. Since it was there, I couldn't help taking the "Writing" shelf. Maybe some of the wisdom that used to be on those shelves will leak out into my cove. You can see on the top shelf the four books I rescued from the ashes of the firesale.

As I walked among the barren shelves at Borders I couldn't help tearing up as it hit me that this was goodbye. There's nothing like browsing a bookstore. I love to pick up a shiny new hardcover, glance at the back, scan the flaps, inhale the first page, then hold it in my hands and consider whether or not to add it to my collection. Buying e-books just won't be the same. I can't say I wasn't part of Borders' demise. I already buy most of my books on-line from Amazon. But I don't browse there. I hear buzz about a book, decide I want it, and go to Amazon to get a copy. If I want to find something entirely new, something I've never heard of, some literary discovery to call my very own, I need a bookstore.

But I'm glad to have the bookshelf.  It's the best bookshelf I've ever owned! The shelves tip back so the books stand up securely in place without a bookend, and I can even turn them cover-out to advertize their presence (Remember me? You wanted to read me!). I've put all my writing reference material, my office supplies, my manuscripts, and my composition books on one side. The other side has all our picture books so the kids can come in and read quietly to themselves while I'm working. Ha ha. We'll see how that works.


  1. That is the coolest bookshelf EVER! #seriousworkspaceenvy :)

  2. That is an awesome bookshelf!!! So excited for you to have it in your cove.

    It is sad about Borders, though. Sniff.

  3. Oh, that is an awesome bookshelf! I love the idea of your writerly things on one side and family books on the other. What a great way to spread the love of books/writing (with the kids reading while you write.)

    And yes, it is a tragedy having any bookstore go out of business. I'm so sorry!

  4. Sue, after I took the photo of my writing side of the bookshelf, I noticed your book is there near the end between my field guide to wildflowers and my writer's guide to poisons!

  5. @Rebecca OH THAT'S AWESOME! :) I'm not sure about that filing system though. Am I a wildflower or a a poison? I guess you need the guide to know. LOL

    p.s. thanks for making my day!

  6. I really love that bookshelf! It's sad that they went out of business, though. It has me wondering how the future will accommodate authors...what marketing gimmick will we use besides bookmarks? An ebookmark? lol...


    Can Alex save Winter from the darkness that hunts her?

    YA Paranormal Romance, Darkspell coming fall of 2011!

  7. Sad that Borders had to close for you to get that book shelf but it's kind of cool! :)


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