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John Dos Passos

Demise of Borders recalls the end of Remington's

The news that Borders, the nation's second-largest book chain, is giving up the ghost and closing its doors after 40 years came as no real surprise to anyone.

The Wall Street Journal observed last week that Borders' exit was the "'first major casualty of the digital era in buying and reading books."

The Borders empire, which was founded in 1971 in Ann Arbor, Mich., by Tom and Louis Borders, had grown to 500 stores nationwide, while its chief competitor, Barnes & Noble, is No. 1 with 717 stores.

Borders had six stores in the Baltimore area and surrounding counties; Barnes & Noble operates four stores.

While e-books have contributed to the...