Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Relics of a Damned Good Bygone Time

On Monday night the family made one final trip to the Virginia Beach Borders, which formerly anchored a shopping center in the Hilltop area. You would have wept on seeing the place - it had literally become a shell supported by bare walls and empty built-in shelves. What fixtures that hadn't been carted away were pushed to the far ends - some with markdown stickers, others noted by SOLD designations. We learned before we left that the Chesapeake Library had purchased many of the tables and shelving for a new facility, so it's nice to know some of this stuff will be used in a literary setting.

The books, though...they'd been picked over in the last weekend. On this last day there were about 25 books in the entire store, all for a quarter. They'd already taken down the whimsical posters and art in the children's section, the comfy couch from the employees lounge rested in the back of the store, and piping jutted up from the ground where the cafe counter once stood. My husband had patronized the cafe daily, either to relax or grade papers. He pointed to a splotch on the ground and said, "So that's where all the pens I'd dropped behind the counter ended up."

In the one section I held most dear, nothing.

Borders was the first store to stock Truth or Dare. I'll never forget the day I walked into this store and saw my book on the shelf. I had finally made it, and romance readers could browse this section and find me alongside so many wonderful writers. I think the only thing that made me happier was walking in and not seeing the book, and finding out there had been no returns.

Well, I don't know that I'll ever be shelved in a store again. For the record, you'll find some of my books in Washington Heights in a pop-up store that is trying to become permanent, so that's a start. I can tell you, too, that the Romance sign above also has a new home - mine. I bought it as a reminder of what I had achieved, and hopefully I'll achieve something greater next time, like two titles on a shelf.

1 comment:

krispykremekiller said...

And I remember too, going into my now-closed Borders and picking up Truth or Dare. I thought it was amazing that hundreds of miles away, I could walk into a store and pick up something my best friend made. I did confirm though that the last copy had indeed been sold prior to the going out of business sale.