salvaged from the shipwreck of the s.s.borders.

I know I said I wouldn’t participate in picking the bones of the local Borders clean…but then I saw that the liquidation company even put the fixtures up for sale.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been using a standing desk setup for the last few months. Right now, that setup is just a coffee table on top of my regular desk. I’ve been shopping around for proper standing desks, but they’re a.) extremely hard to find, b.) ridiculously expensive, or c.) half-assed constructions that aren’t very sturdy. I briefly considered building my own, but with my level of craftiness and power tool mastery, the result would have been likely to look like something hastily thrown together by beavers.

Luckily, my wife, smart cookie that she is, walked into Borders and checked out the furniture. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this myself, but they have those service desks all over the place–you know, the kind where employees and customers can look up books online. And they’re all <insert angelic choir background music> standing height. 

So Robin bought one, and I went back a week later and got another one. I won’t be able to pick them up until the shop closes for good (sometime in mid-September), but my temporary setup will serve until then.

The nice thing about those desks is that they’re ridiculously well built–no plywood $99 Staples furniture here. They’ve been used daily for ten years or more, and I couldn’t find a thing wrong with them. The drawers and doors are mounted with industrial-strength hinges and tracks that still work like they’re on ball bearings. There’s some finish wear at the corners, but I can sand the desks down and refinish them. Considering their build quality, we got them for pennies on the dollar–they were cheaper than anything I could have picked up in the bargain corner of the furniture section at Staples.

This is the pair, each shot from two different angles. The second desk has a non-slip black work surface which is at the same height as the keyboard shelf of the first desk, so they’ll go side by side. I’ll use the computer desk for the Mac, and the desk with the black surface inlay for longhand and typewriter work.

So there you have it–dirt-cheap standing furniture, and a sort of durable souvenir from Borders. I told the furniture manager that I should have marked and tracked down my regular seat in the cafe, because we go way back. (I wrote a significant chunk of my word count since early 2008 in that Seattle’s Best Coffee.)


14 thoughts on “salvaged from the shipwreck of the s.s.borders.

  1. Chang says:


  2. Katherine says:

    Just one suggestion, though no doubt you’ve considered it. I work at a Chain Bookstore of Doom, and you do NOT want to know how utterly disgusting our counters and workstations get. The color of the material used as desks hides a lot of dirt, but picture it: they are touched daily by dozens of bookstore workers, including the dude we keep trying to fire* for picking at his bare feet behind the cafe counter, and hundreds of customers, including the meth addict who likes to come in and tweak while mumbling something about thenewworldorder’n’aliens’n’thegiantpipelinebushbuilttogetoilfromthemoon and the $*!@ who comes in to jack off on the porno mags. (Observation: never, under any circumstances whatsoever, sit in the “comfy chairs” at a chain bookstore. We have no way to clean them, and they’re often more then ten years old. They’d double as weapons of biological warfare.)

    Overly long rant short, some sort of antibacterial and antiviral cleaner may be in order. Not sure what you can use that wouldn’t ruin the wood, though.

    *Don’t ask. I exaggerate only slightly. Situations changed to protect the disgusting and moronic.

    • Marko Kloos says:

      Oh, they’ll both get the full Clorox treatment. Then I’ll strip the finish and redo it, so I’m not concerned about the Clorox messing up the wood.

  3. aczarnowski says:

    Nice fines. But those are horrible trophy shots. You and your wife should’ve been standing next to the desk you each bagged to prove who got them. 😉

  4. Murgy says:

    I got the last of the moleskin full size notebooks they had, tonight. They still had a dozen or more 3/4 sized. Want them?

  5. Huh! Did she happen to notice whether there were any left after that one?

  6. irish red says:

    nice find, hopefully your liquidation experience goes better than this person’s:

  7. Gewehr98 says:

    How solid are they? The Borders in Madison is closing, and I’m thinking a second reloading bench, myself…

  8. Did you see that Books-a-Million is going to take over the West Lebanon Borders store?

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