I stopped by at the Staples Corner Borders the other day, they were having a big old closing down sale. I dimly remember hearing that they were going into administration, but not so big a news story as to be believed.
I was almost in tears pottering about the aisles, trying to find the last ...For Dummies books I need for my collection, phrase books for next weekend's jaunt to Malaga, and Christmas presents.
I couldn't bring myself to go for a coffee, a final cappucino, in memory of the long long months of my unemployment, spending mornings supping and reading newspapers, taking advantage of the free parking. For about ten months I went there every week day, sometimes meeting Aref Adib, always getting the paper half read, before my hot chocolate or cappucino ran out.
God knows how long it'll last before they close for a final time.
Even years ago, 2000, 2001, the Shag Times era in Glasgow, Borders meant a lot to me. On Thursday nights the Bobby Wishart Trio would play jazz in the cafe in the Buchanan Street branch, me and Milo would head along in our Jazz clothes, partake in a bottle of wine whilst browsing through a selection of pretentious books and being lewd towards the other patrons. It was an entertain prelude to heading to the Union and the barmaids of The Priory for more drinking and lewdness.
But all these things will become relics of the past, as Borders joins the ranks of Woolworths, Prestos, Tandy and Rumbelows, shops and institutions that will mean nothing to the kids of tomorrow. My three year-old niece knows nothings of these things, she never will, and for that I'm sad, cos they were great, I know, cos I was there.
It was a neater place to just hang out and browse than Waterstones, and the fact it was open late was a life-saver in Glasgow for my bored student days.
Will anything new fill its place, its role?
Amazon doesn't have cute Polish girls serving coffee or free parking.