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Borders Fans Mourn the Loss of Westlake Location

Loyal customers worry about what the news means for books and the written word.

Book lovers and avid readers are lamenting the recent news that Borders is closing the doors on its 400 remaining stores. It might be good news for local bookstores, but it's bad news for loyal Borders customers.

Casandra Vasu and Scott Girgash used to frequent the Westlake Borders as teenagers, and came out to say goodbye on Thursday.

“We thought that since it was closing, we would come down and check it out again,” Girgash said.

For Vasu, who is pursuing a Masters degree in creative writing, the news hit close to home.

“It’s bad news, with the emergence of e-readers and everything,” she said. “Since you can get a book for 99 cents online, publishers aren’t going to take a chance on new writers because they don’t have the revenue.”

The Westlake location at the Promenade will most likely be open through September. A store employee said plans are tentative, but they are “starting to liquidate on Friday” and will be open through September.

“I think it’s a shame,” said Patricia Umstead, a preschool teacher who also works at Fairview Public Library. “I think people should have a choice— a lot of people like to have their own libraries at home."

Umstead said staff at the library is also taking the news to heart, with the uptrend in electronic materials.

“That’s what’s frightening,” she said. “Even at the library, we’re seeing a lot of e-books and books on tape, and now you’re going to be able to download them. So even at the library there’s talk of what’s going to happen to books.”

Pamela Wilkins, also an avid reader, stopped by the store when she heard the news.

“I used to shop here a lot, but not as much anymore,” she said, noting that she now buys a lot of her reading material through Amazon.com or downloads it onto her Kindle. “I guess I’m one of the reasons Borders has gone under."

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