Weird--tomorrow is closing day for the Towson Borders. I started there in 1994, fresh out of grad school and newly married, thinking "I'll work here until I get a teaching gig." A month later I was promoted, then ten months later I was promoted again, and then in 1998 I became the store manager. This drove me as near to insanity as I ever hope to come (and I've done a variety of hallucinogens). After two years I hung it up and became an English professor but still worked six to ten hours a week at the store until last June when I finally quit.
Borders became a pain in the ass as it got bigger and bigger--all companies do. But I got to travel a lot (to great places like Singapore and Las Vegas and Phoenix, and not-so-great places like Ann Arbor), and most importantly I met some of the greatest people I know working there. Some of these fantastic folk are in the 'Damn Good 'Blogs' list. The rest? You know who you are.
It's bittersweet to see the store go because I like Towson and like having Borders here--and now we'll be left with only Bland and IgNoble--but I do most of my book shopping online and in used stores anyhow these days. The entire time I was GM I lobbied to have the store moved, and was rebuffed again and again. Now they're off to Timonium and hopefully smoother sailing with less physical plant woes and parking and lease difficulties. One thing's for sure: LP will be a SNAP at the new joint, as will deliveries and returns.
Godspeed to those who still suffer the book/music retail life: "Uh, I heard this author on NPR eight years ago. The book was about either history or politics and was by some guy with a scratchy voice. Where is it?"