Books

We are magazine and book lovers, our family. There is rarely a time you will find me without a novel in my purse. Rarely a night when I am not cooking (OK, sometimes burning) dinner while reading. I can literally get lost in a good story. The oldest girl, as I’ve mentioned before, is me reincarnated before my very eyes. She is a voracious reader, devouring books in mere days. Every now and again I’ll get the same book so we can read together, so I can be sure she’s “getting” what she’s reading.
She reads in the car. She reads on the toilet. She reads at breakfast, at lunch, at dinner. She reads at school at lunch, outside during recess when other kids are actually getting exercise. She tries to sneak and read in bed at night with a small flashlight, all the book lights having been broken, lost or in need of batteries. If it’s a school night I’ll tell her to turn it off, and even then it’s hard. What am I supposed to say, “Stop all this damn reading and learning!”?

The middle girl goes out to play at home and we push the older one outside as well where she grudgingly goes. With a book. I adore it. I truly love to look at her absorbing words and situations, thinking of questions to ask. But asking me what a wet dream is? Not so much. Not ready for that particular Judy Blume book, methinks. I have got to remember to check suggested reader age. And to her credit, the middle girl isn’t as addicted to reading, but she wants to be like her big sister so badly that she too, is becoming more of a reader.

This picture shows what a typical weekend is like for us.

This is at our “local” Borders although the word local is actually a stretch. We live in SE where there are no book stores save for a few used sellers across the bridge in Capitol Hill (Extended (and the use of that word is a whole other discussion)). We sit in the cafe and read, have a snack and a drink, chase the boy, keep him from ripping pages, and just marvel at the massive amount of books. It never fails to amaze me when I walk in how much knowledge there is, how much reading enjoyment, in this one place. (We also people-watch and eavesdrop, then talk about their conversations, book choices, and attire later, me probably borderline judgmentally. You know, normal stuff).

But mostly we just sit and be. Virtually every weekend. Unfortunately, in a few short weeks, this Borders will close with a few area others due to “under-performance”. It’s not hard to imagine that excuse being given for this urban located store. But for 18th & L? Really?

As book lovers, we visit public libraries quite frequently too (perhaps we’re part of the reason Borders is going under; as much as these kids read and as quickly, I can’t imagine having to actually buy all those books. Besides, I like an actual page to turn. Not interested in an electronic book). But losing this Borders will signal a shift in our shopping as well. We normally head to the Target in Largo or stores at the Boulevard when we know we’re going to Borders. Now there won’t be much of a reason to go that direction. I’m sure it will affect the surrounding stores’ sales.

It’s just very sad. The girls are disappointed and wondering where we’ll go for chill-out Saturdays now. This was the closest book store. We could go downtown to another Borders or Barnes & Noble, but park where midday on Saturday? The next closest is Borders in Pentagon City or Barnes & Noble at Potomac Yard, neither of which is appealing for routine visits, both of which suck in cafe size. Again. Just sad.

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