When we arrived in Bournemouth, the kids and I spent hours and hours hanging out in Borders Bookstore; lying on the floor reading, having coffee and cookies, logging into the internet to check email and get stuff done, playing video games, and leaving with armloads of books to replace all of the books we didn't bring to England. It was a few weeks before the boys could get into school, but their time was spent in a literary way so I'm sure it didn't matter much.
We got to know the dude behind the Paperchase counter, with the amazing hair. Last week his hair was Christmas green, and when I said "Nice Hair!", he showed me that his co-workers had decorated it like a Christmas Tree, with bells and tinsel.
We chatted with the friendly, approachable staff, who never gave us bad vibes for lying on the floor in the "fiction, 7-11" section.
The guys in the videogame section very kindly persuaded Sam and Max to buy lots of new DS games, to go with their second-hand DS. Gee thanks guys!
Borders was warm and friendly when the weather was rainy, and you could watch for your bus from within the doorway while hoping the rain would stop.
So today, I bought a few more books for Christmas at huge savings, and I bought a soft brown bear named Barnaby. Barnaby the Borders Bear. Santa will put him out with the stockings, and we will treasure him forever.
Edited: Yes, they are closing down in the UK, unless someone comes along and buys the entire chain. Weep! Gnash!