the fixed star burns no longer

Tacoma is without …

decent-paying jobs (with exceptions of government and hospitals)

career opportunities

clean air

or for that fact soil (arsenic – that’s another posting)

a cafe-bookstore.

The shuttering of Borders has returned a gaping hole in my life as well as that of other Tacomans who need their combination bookstore and cafe.

Yes, for me, not want, need. The sphere of the written word coupled with computer and coffee is my grounding point, an anchor, the fixed star that grounds and stabilizes these restless nomad feet and curious mind.

Also, when you’ve been without work as long as I (and millions more), you need your diversions from these entrapping and life-sucking four walls. You need your coping mechanisms. You need a touchstone in society because I’ll tell you something that doesn’t receive the awareness and recognition and discussion it deserves: Unemployment is profoundly isolating.

Borders bookstore and cafe was mine.

There were the printed words, the books and magazines. The Wi-Fi. The coffee. Seattle’s Best – a bit of a misnomer in truth but drinkable. Friendly baristas with a ready smile and greeting who got to know your name and drink preferences.

Like so many ashes cast into the wind, it’s now all gone. Yes, of course, Tacoma still has its bookstores. And its cafe. But it has no location that combines the two.

For that, one needs to go to the next town. And I for one am not desiring of making that drive each day (either can I afford the astronomical gas prices entailed).

So I find myself quite bored, discombobulated and tripping over the cracks in the sidewalk with a need unmet.

Surely a new cafe-bookstore may appear down the road, long after I’ve set sail. Tacoma is nothing if not a town of striking juxtapositions and turnarounds. Businesses emerge and they fold with such frequency that one has to wonder whether there’s a birth-and-death clause secreted in city charter.

Be that as it it, I can say only that the closing of the sole cafe-bookstore is one more reminder that there’s nothing here for more, nor has there been for a number of years … one more sign that it’s time to go.


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. inaformerlifeanexpat
    May 08, 2011 @ 03:53:49

    Border’s shuttering seems so odd; outwardly they seemed to me to have been doing well.


    • allycatadventures
      May 08, 2011 @ 16:57:51

      @Expat – I hear ya. For whatever reasons, evidently Borders was unable to survive the competition from Barnes & Noble, Costco, Walmart and, of course, Amazon.


      • inaformerlifeanexpat
        May 08, 2011 @ 17:56:04

        I can’t believe Walmart or Costco could be Borders competitiors; they don’t even sell Mcbooks!


        • allycatadventures
          May 08, 2011 @ 20:30:35

          @Expat – No, but they sell books (not to mention the excellent Costco prices!). My local store, on a primo lot, should be completely shut in a week or two. Can’t help wondering what will take its place.


          • inaformerlifeanexpat
            May 09, 2011 @ 03:44:10

            What both sell are not what I would call ‘books’ or anyting close to reading material.


            • allycatadventures
              May 09, 2011 @ 17:30:45

              @Expat – That is simply untrue; I hope that J.K. Rowling, Michael Savage, Dinesh D’souza, Louis L’Amour and Bob Woodward, among others, don’t hear you dismiss their works like that. Costco is among the top 5 booksellers in the country, on par with Barnes & Noble and other big chains. Perhaps this article will illuminate and educate and alter your opinion about Costco’s books.


  2. longeyesamurai
    May 08, 2011 @ 07:09:07

    Iam sad to hear that turn of events as I share your opinion of the usefullness of such places combining the best of both worlds.


  3. Karyn @ kloppenmum
    May 09, 2011 @ 01:53:12

    We don’t have any book-shop cafe combinations here, that I am aware of …sounds like heaven.


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