So yesterday I had to take the day off of work and head up to Rapid City for a doctor’s appointment, in our area if you want to see a specialist you have to make the 100 mile drive up there. In some areas this might be quite a task but in our relatively traffic free part of the country it takes less than an hour and a half(speed limit is 70mph for most of the way). All in all, It is a pretty scenic and relaxing drive.
After the morning appointment my wife and I made the extra 45 minute drive up to Deadwood for lunch. We ate at my wife’s favorite restaurant in the whole world(her words not mine) and gambled at a casino for a couple of hours.
On the way home we stopped by Border’s in Rapid City. Like most Border’s bookstores it is going out of business. They had a 90% off sale on everything, and we got a few heaping bags full of books. Brand new paperbacks were right around $1.00. The idea of brand new cheap books was very exciting.
I thought the whole thing would have been fun, everyone leaving the store was in a great mood, laughing and joking around, but I actually found it kind of…sad.
Now, I should mention that Chadron (my home) does have a used bookstore, but it is run out of someone’s house and kinda creeps me out. Borders is the closest chain bookstore and I stop in there everytime I go through Rapid City(four or five times a year). Despite my infrequent visits and how far away the store is this is/was my bookstore. I didn’t even think about when I heard it was closing but walking around the empty building I started to think about how the next closest real bookstore that I might have a chance to visit would be in Denver.
Denver is 6 hours away. I make it here every couple of years or so. That’s not much bookstore action. After I thought of the that walking between the empty shelves became even sadder. It started to remind me of the feeling I get in a cemetery. I couldn’t believe they were doing this to my bookstore.
I don’t think I was the only one feeling sad or depressed. There were a ton of people in line to check out and no one spoke. Husbands and wives stood quietly next to each other, even the children(there were quite a few) didn’t speak a word. I couldn’t understand why all the readers outside were so happy, a lot of the ones in line looked like they were going to cry.
As I was walking out, feeling pretty depressed about my new bookstore-less state of existence, the manager of the store leaned in and whispered to me, as he had to every other patron “In a couple of months Barnes and Noble will be opening downtown.”
I couldn’t help but smile.