Borders recently announced that it was unable to find a buyer and will liquidate their remaining assets. Along with archnemesis Barnes and Noble, Borders will always bring back good memories of wandering around the magazine department, spending too much on seasons of The Simpsons on DVD, and wasting time looking at books before my movie started (I’d say I was a super intellectual kid, but clearly I’d be lying).
I guess it’s a sign of the times that a place that was so quintessentially ’90s that it had a Starbucks inside has fallen victim to the Great Seriously-This-Is-A-Depression-Not-A-Recession of 2011. I’d go to Blockbuster or Hollywood Video, but they seem to have mysteriously vanished as well. Strip malls all over San Diego and beyond are quickly becoming dying wastelands, devoid of anything interesting to gawk at. What is a child of the ’90s to do when he can’t even go waste time at an overpriced bookstore?
In order to survive, you have to change with the times.
Thankfully, I’ve found an interesting business down the street that just loans you stuff for free. All you have to do is get a membership, borrow stuff for a pre-determined amount of time, and then turn it in promptly, and they don’t even make you pay a dime. Books, DVDs, CDs, anything. They even let you use the internet. For free. It’s like Blockbuster and Borders combined!
When I asked the stern-looking goober who ran the business what he called it, he said it was a “library.” Apparently they’ve existed for thousands of years, and are all over both San Diego and America. Technically, he said, they’re not “free”. They’re paid for with taxes.
Taxes? Naturally, this confused me. I’ve heard from TV, radio, economics professors, government officials, and just about everybody in San Diego that taxes are extremely evil. Like Osama Bin Laden evil. They cripple businesses, ruin families, and keep nice rich folk from owning that second yacht that they deserve for all of their hard work. How could such an evil thing like a tax be used to get free books and movies for everybody?
Sounds like the head honchos in San Diego have gotten wise to this loophole, and have been trying to get rid of the library free ride. We almost just got rid of several, but a loose group of insurgents led by a shadowy group called “Friends of the San Diego Public Library” managed to put a stop to it. Such a shame. The last thing we need are people mooching off of the labor of others to obtain free information and education.
One reader at Voice of San Diego even made the astute observation such behavior is hostile to liberty, and went so far as to call libraries “Charger stadiums for an effete crowd of better-dressed, well-coiffed people with fewer tattoos than Charger fans,” and suggest that they are “just another special interest”. Books, after all, are completely obsolete now that everything ever written is on the Internet. Tell these stupid snobs and poor people to just start downloading all of this information onto their Kindles!
Thank God someone is looking out for me and my best interest. I’d hate to be seduced by socialist education and tax-subsidized books and DVDs.
Seriously though, I just rediscovered my love of libraries, and have been reading more than I have in years without spending a dime. Free books are awesome, and any yahoo who uses a libertarian framework to justify killing one of the world’s best public works programs is a simpleton. Support your local library.