For years, I had a happy weekend ritual. I’d head to my local Tower Records and lose myself in the aisles of CDs and DVDs. After emerging from the store — usually with some purchases in hand — I’d move on to a nearby Borders, where I’d peruse new books and magazines, rarely resisting the temptation to buy even more items. And then I’d have jerk chicken at the Jamaican restaurant that adjoined the Borders.
I still eat at that place, but now it’s located next to a cavernous empty space, one of a couple of hundred around the U.S. that were created when Borders declared bankruptcy and shuttered a third of its stores in February. (All the locations that survived that purge are now in the process of liquidating themselves.) Borders’ fate is sadly similar to that of Tower Records, which went bankrupt — twice! — and then went out of business in 2006.(See how Blockbuster failed at failing.)