When I learned about this a few weeks ago, I had mixed feelings. On the one hand, a book-industry behemoth that no doubt puts smaller bookstores with more variety and more character out of business is wobbling at the knees. Perhaps after Borders Aventura closes, the area will gain a few more small bookstores and the existing ones, like the Paperback Book Xchange (1659 NE 163rd St, N.M.B.) and its eminently reasonable and quirky operator, will see a boost in customers. On the other hand, the Barnes & Noble in Loehmann’s Plaza will likely absorb most of Borders’ customer base, assuring that corporate domination of the area’s book scene will remain mostly in tact.
So, in the end I’m sad to see Borders go. I’ve been a customer (and incorrigible freeloader) since the store opened in 1994, and I always preferred it to the Barnes & Noble, which with its stodgier atmosphere and brown-and-dollar-green color scheme never appealed to me as a comfortable place to read. At Borders, though, I got plenty of reading done over the years, most memorably the entire screenplay of Pulp Fiction in one sitting — a secret leafing, done in a cranny of the media section because Mom would not let her 10-year-old son watch the movie.