Two Ends - Harry Potter & Borders

Friday night, the wife and I were on our way to the movies to see Cowboys and Aliens (not as bad as they say, but not great), when we passed our local Borders Books and Music. Unless you've been hiding in a cavern with the aforementioned aliens, you are no doubt aware that Borders is shuttering its stores.

We were listening to the soundtrack of Wicked as we drove by, and the song For Good was playing. Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenowith sang:

Because I knew you...
I have been changed for good.

We pulled around the corner into the theater parking lot, where the signs for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II were still plastered all over the joint. It was at that moment that I actually felt a deep sense of sadness and loss. If you haven't guessed by now, I am a huge Harry Potter fan as are my two kids. In fact, I would say that J.K. Rowling has been a huge inspiration for my writing. Deathly Hallows was published four years ago, but we always had the remaining movies to look forward to!  This last film (which I enjoyed quite a lot, thanks for asking) truly meant the end.

It was at this Borders five minutes from my house that I took my family for the midnight release celebrations of the Half Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows novels. It was at this Borders that I spent countless hours browsing, reading, drinking coffee, researching, and above all dreaming. 

And like the seven-book series brought to eight-film life on the big screen, it is coming to an end. While the tale of a bespectacled boy wizard drew to a close with brilliance, sadness, and joy, I only wish I could say the same for this forty-year old bookseller. 

Flash back one week earlier to when we dropped into Borders. The coffee shop was closed. Wandering the busy aisles of people looking for bargains that were not truly to be had, all I felt was a sense of numbness. I walked my daughter past the graphic novel section - she was looking for the graphic novel version of City of Bones - and a teenage kid meandered over to me. 

"It's a total bummer, man. Now where am I going to get my Manga?"

It is. It is without doubt a total bummer. 

Borders is over. Harry Potter is over. Both entwined in my memory. One went out with a glorious bang, while the other went out with a whimper and a shrug.

At risk of copyright infringement or just seeming incredibly sappy, I hereby quote Elphaba (Idina Menzel) in For Good.

It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you.

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