To give you some perspective, I did a Google search for tobacco stores and got seven results returned. It's now easier to buy rolling papers than books in the Mahoning Valley.
I'm really going to miss the Hermitage location. Growing up, we always did our big holiday/ birthday shopping at the Shenango Valley Mall. It was always a treat to go into Waldenbooks (as it was known in the stone age). You could get comics, D & D supplies, sci-fi paperbacks and the latest Stephen King, when I was older. Not having a bookstore in that mall will leave a gaping hole. Even today, when we make it out that way we always wander in and see what's new.
The staff in both locations was very helpful and courteous to a fault. The stores were always clean, well stocked and brightly lit. Comfortable chairs made me feel right at home while I made my selections.
I know the book selling market is changing thanks to the accessibility of all things on Amazon and the proliferation of eBooks but bookstores have a charm that cannot be measured in efficiency and gadgetry. I like to wander in and take my time. You can start out looking at the bargain books laying on the tables near the front and wander in deeper, looking for bestsellers. There's a special feeling when you discover authors you don't know writing about topics you didn't know interested you. Amazon.com can't replicate that. A search function is a poor substitute for browsing among the different genres or suddenly seeing a book someone recommended. "Recommendations for you" don't broaden your horizons beyond the topics you're currently reading about.
This isn't the first round of book closings to hit our area. I can remember when The Little Professor was open in Hermitage and was sad to see it not reopen after the fire a few years ago. I've been to the Book Rack in Sharon and it's nice. I've never tried Dorian's though, and I really should.
Given that both of these individual Borders locations were busy most of the time when I was in them, I hope that they were performing well enough that someone gives them another chance. After all, their closing is part of a nationwide closing. I'm not a book store snob either. I don't care if an independent daredevil takes on these locations or if Barnes & Noble decides to conquer the market in either location. I just want a nice place to wander around in and spend some money on books.