Borders books closing

Danielle Phelps, right, and her mother Irene Phelps, both of Towson, leave Borders bookstore in Timonium with a pile of books July 23. Borders announced it is unable to emerge from a Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is closing hundreds of stores nationwide, including the store in Timonium. (Steve Ruark, Patuxent Publishing / July 25, 2011)

Lutherville resident Joan Dier and her friend Melissa Serra, of Monkton, work for the State of Maryland at an office near Lutherville, and they're regular visitors to the Borders bookstore in the Yorkridge Shopping Center on West Ridgely Road.

"We come here almost three times a week," said Dier, 50.

The pair work just a short walk from the store, and they come for coffee and snacks more than for books.

On July 21, Serra, 42, said she and Dier had visited Borders every day that week.

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"Today we got our favorite snack, which won't be here anymore," Dier said.

The Borders bookstore in Lutherville, like all Borders stores, will be gone for good in a matter of months.

In a July 18 statement from Borders Group, the bookstore's corporate parent, the company said it would be liquidating all assets and closing the stores.

"Following the best efforts of all parties, we are saddened by this development," said Mike Edwards, president of the Borders Group, in a statement.

"We were all working hard toward a different outcome, but the headwinds we have been facing for quite some time, including the rapidly changing book industry, eReader revolution and turbulent economy, have brought us to where we are now," he said.

Borders Group is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., and has 399 stores and 10,700 employees. The company is liquidating as part of Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Subject to court approval, bankruptcy liquidation started July 22, with closures expected to conclude by the end of September, the statement said.

On July 21, the Borders in Lutherville was still full of books, but it wouldn't last long. Though employees were not authorized to speak to the press, one employee said the location had set the wheels in motion to begin its going-out-of-business sale July 22.

For Joan Dier and Melissa Serra, it's time to buy those books they've been browsing through week after week.

"This is it," Dier said.

Neither seemed inclined to go somewhere else for their coffee or book fix.

"I go here from work because it's convenient," said Serra. "I wouldn't be doing it every day if it wasn't here."

Dier said she doesn't want to visit Barnes and Noble in Towson.

"It's not really convenient for parking," she said.

The parking lot at York Ridge Shopping Center is vast, with several entrances and exits, and the whole affair is within sight of York Road.

Shopping epilogue