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Borders: Where this chapter began

standard February 14, 2011 3 responses

It all started one afternoon, possibly a warm one, though there in the Bay Area, that doesn’t give us much hint as to the season.

I was bored, out and about one afternoon, alone, maybe playing hooky from work, itching for something new to do. My husband was in law school, work was doing little to sustain my interest, and my evenings were filled with bad TV while M studied for yet another class.

My sister was pregnant with her second child and while I was determined to make this baby a blanket, just like I’d made one for his sister, I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of cross-stitching another. So I headed to a bookstore to find some inspiration.

I meandered into the store, climbing the wide staircase to the second story, pausing for a moment halfway up to survey the lower level. Bookshelves spread out in every direction – thousands of books on every topic imaginable, quiet customers browsing among the shelves, each lost in their own world, oblivious to each other.

At the top of the stairs I headed left and found the craft section tucked away in a corner behind the young adult area. I glanced over the cross-stitching books on the bottom shelf, but as expected, nothing caught my fancy. And then I spotted it, nestled between two sewing books.

The title, Knit Baby Blankets, caught my eye and I worked it out of the tight place. I flipped through the pages and fell in love with pattern after pattern. I hadn’t knit a stitch in years, but I didn’t hesitate for a moment. Minutes later the book was mine and I was headed one block over to Michaels to gather a few key supplies.

That night I turned to the Internet for a tutorial and stumbled headfirst into the world of knitting blogs.

Over the next few months I started a blog, finished my nephew’s blanket, and knit him a second one. Then I knit a sweater for his big sister and shortly after that I started working on a blanket for my own baby. As she grew in my belly my interested in blogging grew just as fast, and as can be expected, I started reading pregnancy and parenting blogs. Her bright red blanket grew fast, but unlike her cousin’s it was never featured on the blog. Instead, the blog’s focus switched from yarn to babies, from patterns to milestones.

And the rest, as they say, is history. Once that blanket was finished my interest in knitting waned, but my love for blogging took off.

As Borders prepares to possibly declare Chapter 11 this week, I can’t stop thinking of that fateful day – my first in that particular store – where I happened upon a book that changed the course of my life.

It would never have happened in an online bookstore.

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3 responses

  • What a shame. I have to admit though that I buy almost all my books on amazon, or at an independent book store in the neighborhood. I havent been in borders for years.

  • Maybe we should make this a meme. I sued to go to Borders after my karate class. My boys were 3 and 5 and I had been staying home with them full-time. Karate + Borders was my big night out. I’d peruse a stack of magazines, write in my journal or meet with a friend. I’m so glad “my” Borders will remain open, but I was sad to hear the news.

  • It’s sad to see so many bookstores closing. I know I’ve taken places like Borders for granted over the years. That’s usually the first place I head when I need to get a gift or on the rare occasion of finding myself with time to kill and no kids with me.

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