By Keith Staskiewicz
Updated July 18, 2011 at 11:37 PM EDT
Credit: Leon/Retna Digital

Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for Borders. Hemingway is just one of many authors whose books you’ll no longer find lining the shelves of the popular — but not popular enough — book chain, after a financial white knight failed to materialize to save the company from insolvency. Borders Group, after months of trying to find a solution to its bankruptcy problems, has decided to liquidate, starting as early as this Friday. The company’s nearly 400 stores will be closed and its 10,700 employees laid off — a major blow, both literal and moral, to the continued existence of physical bookstores in an era of increasing e-book readership.

The company released a statement announcing their intention to liquidate after 40 years of business. “Following the best efforts of all parties, we are saddened by this development,” Borders President Mike Edwards said in the statement. “We were all working hard towards a different outcome, but the headwinds we have been facing for quite some time including the rapidly changing book industry, eReader revolution and turbulent economy have brought us to where we are now.”