I loved and miss Borders. A lot of bad things were said about their business decisions; never having worked at one, I don’t know about any of that. But as a customer, Borders stores were always pleasant places to shop for books, movies, and music. Until they were on their last legs, they typically carried a solid mix of catalog titles and eclectic newer releases. I also liked that their DVD selection usually featured “cult” and “arthouse” releases that weren’t always carried by other “big box” retailers.
The Borders chain closed up shop in 2011. There were several locations scattered across the Southeast that I liked, but a particular favorite was the store on Barrett Parkway in Kennesaw, GA. It was a standard Borders store in size and selection, but it was a convenient stop en route to Atlanta. Before this location went down, I took some photos.
The store entrance, of course. I cannot count the number of times I stopped here when traveling to or leaving from Atlanta and further points. I have friends who live in the Auburn and Athens, GA areas, and this place always broke the trip up.
Horror! My favorite section — what did you expect? Genre divisions are never perfect, but the Borders chain did a generally competent job of maintaining a Horror section. I have seen some bookstores that try to have a Horror section — but Dracula was shelved in Fiction & Literature, and H.P. Lovecraft was shelved in Science Fiction & Fantasy. With Borders, there was a better-than-average chance that you would find Horror books in the Horror section.
I had to take a photo of a couple of shelves in the Science Fiction & Fantasy section, too. If I ever run a bookstore, I would combine Horror with either Science Fiction & Fantasy or with Mystery.
Kind of sad seeing a Local Events bulletin board at a store on its last legs. Back before the internet, I would look at these to see what cultural events were coming up.
One time I was washing my hands in the restroom when I saw a Borders newsletter on the sink. I picked it up and tossed it in the trash can… but the paper had been so wet that part of the cover was permanently fused to the sink! It was there for many years, until the store closed. I had to get a photo of that.
Bonus! This is the outside of the store on Cobb Parkway in Atlanta. This was one of the oddest stores I have been in — after walking through the entrance, you’d have to use an escalator to get to the store. The only thing at the bottom of the escalator were some bargain books.
If you have pleasant memories of either of these stores, I hope that you enjoyed these photographs.