On a rainy Monday afternoon in Burlington, Vermont, I wander past the whole-grain sandwich shops and slick ethnic bistros of the Church Street pedestrian mall, drawn by invisible magnets towards the retail zone’s centerpiece—Borders bookstore, a substantial brick building as set against time as the Parthenon. A couple of guys stand around the entrance holding up black and yellow cardboard signs: Up to 40% off all stock! Everything must go! I’ve come to pay my last respects to the dying giant.