For Jamesport resident Marie Brush, time had just about run out for her to redeem her gift card at the Riverhead Borders: The store might not be there much longer.
"I think it's too bad," she said while at the store on Tuesday. "It's a nice store and the staff are helpful. Every time I've been here there have been people in the store, so I thought they did pretty well."
On Monday, the bankrupt Borders announced that it would liquidate their franchise and close all 399 remaining stores across the country, including the location in Riverhead. The bookstore chain had hoped to remain afloat, but a last-minute bid to save the company fell through over the weekend, forcing the retailers to fold.
For locals it means the region's only major bookstore will shut, as early as Friday.
"I have no idea [where I'll go], and that's the truth," she said. "I've been thinking about that for the past few days."
A Borders service manager declined to comment.
"I think it's a shame." said Remy Bell, chairman of the Handicapped Advisory Committee for the Town of Riverhead. "Everyone has a Kindle or reads online." Bell said he worries that society may be harmed by the loss of newspapers, periodicals and now bookstores like Borders.
"It comes down to economics. ... I'm probably just as guilty as anyone for going to Amazon," he said. "As long as we have our libraries, we stand a chance."
Doris, a resident of Greenport who would not give her last name, said she was not happy that the store would soon close.
"We have a bookstore in Greenport but it's nicer to come here," she said. "I get things for the grandkids here."
Lisa Dirussa of Sag Harbor was visiting the Borders with her two children, Nicky, 9, and Isabella, 11, to buy a math puzzle book. Dirussa said that she had other bookstores closer to her house, so she wouldn't be affected by Borders closing.
Still, "I feel badly for all the people working here," she said.