When Borders books entered the Chicago Market in 1986 I was a sophomore in college. Chicago had some good local bookstores of which Barbara's and Seminary Coop have survived and a couple of locals like Kroch's and Brentano's which did not. But Borders in Oak Brook was different. It reminded you more of Prairie Lights in Iowa City it had a great selection and was a good place to buy books in suburbs without good bookstores.
Now they are going out of business.
Much has been written about the demise of bookstores. The fact is that a whole series of irreplaceable institutions are being destroyed in America. In many places Catholic schools are but a memory as are small liberal arts colleges and the demise of bookstores is the same problem. You can talk about the internet and kindles and alike but should all the knowledge of the world be only in the ether?
I continue to buy real books. I continue to shop at the Book Table in Oak Park, IL , Seminary Coop in Hyde Park and any other good bookstore. I love the serendipity of it all. Finding a book by looking and reading a few pages and when I am finished putting it on my shelves for future use. I hope that the day never comes when that simple pleasure cannot be enjoyed and I will miss Borders only because it was another place to do that when your wife was shopping for panty hose or brasseries.