Fans like the ones who accosted Wheaton give sane fans a bad name. What gives anyone the right to scream and yell and demand signatures from a complete stranger? No matter how much you like them, nothing is OWED to you.
I feel sorry for the people who have never been geeks or nerds or fans…at least when they watch #bigbangtheory. So much of it must just whip right over their heads. And they are missing out on such hilarity.
Dear Borders, thanks for being the wind beneath my wings.
Thank you. I didn’t have much more in mind when I started to think about writing a tribute to you. The news this week has been grim. Thousands of employees will lose their jobs, more storefronts will be empty, and there will be one fewer escape for the bookworms, the magazine addicts and the media consumers to while away their time.
I grew up in bookstores. Not in the way that other kids did but in a way that has engrained habits in me that my friends still curse. My every-other-weekends with Dad, starting before I even hit middle school, always included a regular Saturday night date with you.
We’d walk through your doors, and even at nine or ten, I’d wander off, drawn first to the star-scaped carpet of your children’s section and later to the shadowy corner of the young adults shelves. Hours later, Dad would find me, sometimes only with the assistance of your observant staff, curled up on the floor in front of a bookshelf with an inevitable pile of paperbacks next to me that I would try to con him into buying.
At my Borders, your salespeople knew me by name. They didn’t make me move when I set up camp in a corner, back to the graphic novels, knees to my chest, and a book open in front of me, even though I was blocking other customers and would probably be there for hours. They kept a watchful eye on the kid in the corner, surrounded by books and oblivious to the world.
I’m sorry other kids won’t have the memories I do. Thanks to our steady Saturday night date, I became an avid – sometimes manically so – reader and haunter of bookstores.
I still wander off within minutes of walking through the doors of whatever shop I’ve stumbled upon. My friends are less understanding than your staff or my dad, and I’ve been dragged away on more than one occasion, my eyes and feet drifting towards the shelves on their own.
I veer towards the independent stores now, and I’m loath to cave to the pressure of digitalizing my reading habit. The idea of curling up with a computer leaves me cold, and I cannot imagine shopping a digital store will ever compare to running my fingertips along the pale wood of your shelves, just waiting for something to hook me.
Last night, as I wandered through one of your stores, filling a tote with replacements of books I’ve literally loved to pieces over the years, I couldn’t help but wish that my tardy shopping spree would make a difference even though I knew it would not. I found so many titles I love, and rarely see on the shelves of other stores, and I’m not ashamed to admit I will be paying my credit card down for more than a month because of my lack of control.
The world will be a little darker with you gone, and I can only hope that your death will be used well – that people will begin to see the monopolization of literature and entertainment. Here’s hoping they will get in the car and drive to a store front – hopefully a locally-owned one – to purchase their next read instead of acquiescing to pressure to always purchase with the click of a button.
Thank you for the memories. I’ll never forget you.
**Thank you specifically to the staff at the Borders at LaPlace in Beachwood, Oh. You were the most amazing fake-babysitters I’ve ever had.**
“That’s what’s sexy. That you’re confident in you own skin. No matter how much you have of it or how much of it you show.”—Bonnie Burton, geek girl, @bonniegrrl, StarWars.com contributor…all around awesome chick
“The main way we learn story is not through movies or books; it’s through each other. You become like the people you interact with. And if your friends are living boring stories, you probably will too. We teach our children good or bad stories, what is worth living for and what is worth dying for, what is worth pursuing, and the dignity with which a character engages his own narrative.”— Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years (via premiumcaskett)
“I was watching the movie Star Wars recently and wondered what made that movie so good. Of course, there are a thousand reasons. But I also noticed that if I paused the DVD on any frame, I could point toward any major character and say exactly what that person wanted. No character had vague ambition. It made me wonder if the reasons our lives seem so muddled is because we keep walking into scenes in which we, along with the people around us, have no clear idea what we want.”— Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years (via premiumcaskett)
“I can’t spend a lot of time with someone who can’t read because when we are on planes, trains and traveling in general, you will be sitting there staring at me while I am reading and I will want to throw my book at your head in the hopes that some information will be absorbed through osmosis.”—
Also: I can see that “can you read?” would be a no-go, but how is “do you read” not first-date appropriate?