I was doing Christmas and care package shopping before Black Friday. The Barnes and Noble that I visited was a new location, huge and vibrant. There was a whole shelf of vinyls, half a wall dedicated to YA and mangas. One could even explore a section of DVDs. While I did consider that, I was thinking about how many DVDs that we already have, and which ones that we don’t need.
When checking out my purchases, it took a long time to identify the plushie I had bought on clearance. There was another shock; my Barnes and Noble card no longer worked. No matter how many time the nice lady behind the counter scanned it, the awards would not go through. I was fortunate to have attached my cell phone number to this membership and entered that instead. It was time to wait for the new one that would come with membership. That one would probably arrive in the mail. I’m keeping my eyes out for it so that I can make a proper goodbye.
The plastic has peeled away and the green color has faded, but the card has lots of memories. And now it is a memento of a different time. I’m going to have to remove it from my wallet and tape it into my journal, with the proper date. Considering if I should use washi tape, or postage tape, so that one can see the Barnes and Noble Card through it.
I had obtained this Barnes and Noble Card shortly after Borders folded. They allowed people to transfer the memberships, though later people would be charged an annual fee. Barnes and Noble had bought Borders and would honor the membership card that I had from them. I would use the Borders card to open a broken latch on the family car when filling gas, and it came in very useful for that. The bookstores used to be a place where I could grab a random manga and read it, becoming immersed within a series without having to wait on library deadlines.
It is going to be hard to let go of those memories by switching cards. In those days, I could feel safe going to Barnes and Noble to either read a few books or meet up with a friend or nerd out or talk about writing over coffee. And now? It feels really whimsical, of a different time. Whenever I go to the bookstores these days, I make it a point to try and purchase something to support the location and find something to give to a friend.