by W. H. Horner
I first stepped foot inside a Borders ten years ago. I was working in a Waldens store down the street at the time. I’d certainly been inside big libraries before, but never a bookstore of such scale. Rows upon rows of books: all of them ripe for the picking. It boggled my mind. I distinctly remember going through the history section and being amazed at the breadth and depth of the selection. From tiny niche interests to larger topics, there was a book available. It was overwhelming, but I loved it.
Eventually, I left Waldens and moved from various jobs in and out of retail while I worked on building FE—and eventually I found myself applying to work at that Borders. It was a bittersweet time, since my previous employer was going out of business, and though the transition wasn’t easy, it was nice to be back in book retail—now in the big time.
Wow. Borders. Part of me wondered if I would ever get used to working in such a large space . . . if I would ever figure out where everything belonged. Funny thing is, after a few years, the store seemed so much smaller than it did when I first stepped foot inside of it all those years earlier. The seemingly endless stacks had become quite finite, and I knew just where to look for pretty much anything.
In fact, being at Borders became quite pedestrian. It was simply a job, and even though there were times when I would be delighted by some unexpected treasure that I pulled out of a shipment, and there were numerous great times with the group of coworkers who often felt like a family . . . it was still just a job.
That sense of wonder from before dwindled as the place grew smaller.
It came back within the first few days of the announcement of the liquidation, thanks to the number of people who stopped in or called to see if the news was really true, and to say how sorry they were, and how sad they were to see us go. We were a source of knowledge, and of wonder, where people could wander around a corner and discover magical things they didn’t even know they were looking for.
I was sad to see it go, too.
That change came about during a time of change. Things are afoot here at FE, as you can see with the new website. We have always been about polished prose and gorgeous art . . . we have always been about working closely with authors and artists to create amazing works of collaboration, and most of all, we have always been about that sense of wonder.
I’ve realized that it’s time that we display that quality in absolutely everything we do: hence the redesigned website. Down to the smallest detail, we will strive to create a sense of wonder with everything we do.
That is our pledge. That is our promise.
We have big ideas and big plans in the works. Be sure to keep your eyes on us; you’ll like what you see.
Stay tuned for more “Awakenings.” We will be welcoming regular guest bloggers to this spot to share with us what inspires them, allowing them to share their wonder so that we can all be inspired.
I promise that it’s going to be a fun ride.
William H. Horner
Publisher / Editor-in-Chief