Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Operation Mongoose: the folks behind the Borders memorial

I noticed a spike in traffic today from a website called Operation Mongoose 2012 (the 2012 is to distinguish it from the Operation Mongoose in 1962). It turns out they are the group behind the memorial on the old Borders Flagship Store. From their site:

Concept: We are going to go to the old and original site of Borders Bookstore in Ann Arbor and host a memorial of sorts for printed books. We are going to put paper tombstones on the blank store front of Borders and invite the public to write out either a memory of borders, the title of their favorite book, and or a passage from their favorite literary work on the tombstones. We will also have ripped out pages from books with sayings painted on them like “Why don’t you read me anymore?” We will have a sign with clear concise instructions for people to write on the tombstones as well provide sharpies for people to use in order to make their mark. We will monitor and record the results of our experiment.

Purpose: Printed text is a dying art form. Digital text is rapidly replacing printed literature. Ann Arbor is the city where the very first Borders was created over 40 years ago. It was a staple in the Ann Arbor community. This “memorial” serves as a commentary on the loss of a mainstay in the community as well as the dwindling form of printed books.

Looks like mission accomplished.


  1. The storefront where Operation Mongoose put its memorial is not actually the "old and original" site of Borders. That honor goes to a couple of rooms on the second floor of 209 S. State. See the comment by Wystan Stevens

  2. The storefront they are using was the Jacobson's department store. Jacobson's was based in Jackson, Mi until bankruptcy in 2002.