Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Goodbye Borders (and Waldenbooks)

It's official: Borders is no more.

I am sad to see any book store go, but for the second-largest book store chain in the country to go out of business is a pretty big blow. But the signs were there: late to Internet shopping (by themselves), late to e-books (with crappy e-readers) and the closings that were happening way before the Great Recession.

But then I have a feeling of indifference about Borders closing and here's the reason: they never opened a Borders in South Carolina. Never. If we did want to go to one, we had to go to Charlotte or Augusta (which are both three hours away from Charleston). But I did go to a Borders once outside of DC, which I was in town for Obama's inauguration.

But I will mourn the loss of their smaller sibling, Waldenbooks (or Borders Express, in some places).

Years ago, almost every mall in South Carolina had a Waldenbooks. At that time, there were no Barnes and Noble or Books-A-Million in SC. My mother used to take me to the mall with my allowance and I would go and pick up the latest Babysitters Club. In later years it was to pick Christopher Pike, Fear Street or an African-American book.

Waldenbooks and B. Dalton (owned by B&N) started disappearing in the big cities, like Charleston, when B&N and BAM came to town. But a few of the smaller cities still have their book stores in the mall. But as time went on, those disappeared too. By the time yesterday's announcement came, only two Waldenbooks were left - the one in Charleston Place (right in the middle of the tourism section of town) and one in Sumter.

So as the going-out-of-business sales start, I guess I will find a way to make my way downtown and find some books on sale. And soon cut up the Borders Rewards card I hardly used. But I will also remember the good times and how it was great it was to shop at Waldenbooks.

(bookstore image from Digital Trends)


  1. I'm so disappointed and sad to hear about all 399 of the remaining Borders closing. Very, very sad.

  2. Yeah, it's sad to see any book store close, especially a popular chain. I'm getting ready to write a blog post about going to my local Waldenbooks.