This afternoon I went to Borders to write, a usual afternoon activity. With the gift cards I get from my family on any holiday that warrants gifts, I’m hooked on buying a vanilla bean cremekula. As the gal reaches for my Borders membership and gift cards, she always asks if I’d like a pastry too.

Not today. The pastry showcase was bare. Bottles of coffee flavoring syrups were for sale. A sign said, “Changing vendors”.

I thought the empty case and the sign odd, but, in the crowded cafe, I was intent on finding a table. I asked a woman working on her laptop if I could join her and then sat down and began to write in a notebook–and sip the smooth and creamy drink. Another woman asked to join us. Three of us, related only by our love of bookstores, comfortably and silently passed an hour.

After stopping at Staples on my way home to buy a new notebook, I got home in time to hear the sad tale on the evening news. Borders, my beloved Borders, is on the way out.

I’m still in shock that it may really happen. Of course, I’ve seen other Borders closing around Chicago, but never thought it would happen at MY Borders on State Street downtown. I just found this online account by the WSJ.

I’m feeling incredibly sad. If you’d like, let me know how you feel about brick and mortar stores going by the wayside…