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Waldenbooks, Columbia Mall: Early 2009   6 comments

Posted at 10:15 pm in stores

There was a time when I would have known within days that Waldenbooks at Columbia Mall had closed. I guess it says something about the times (and me) that in the event I didn't even suspect until I started getting google hits on this blog for keywords like "waldenbooks columbia mall closed". I went by today to check it out, and it is indeed gone, though there is still a (discount) book store in that storefront.

I'm pretty sure Waldenbooks was one of the original stores in the mall when it opened, and one of the last of those (I believe only Sears is left now, though if you count Macy's through its purchase of Rich's there would be two).

Books were actually pretty well represented in the initial mall. There was Walden's, Zondervan's Christian Books, B. Dalton Books, Rich's had a reasonably sized book department and I think Belk's had a smaller one for a while. While I would often check Rich's for interesting closeouts, Walden's and B. Dalton's were my main hangouts. In those days, you never knew when new books would be out so I would generally stop by at least once a week and make a run through the SF and humor sections. Of course once I moved out of town, I stopped by less often, and by the time I moved back, I was an Amazon junkie, and the brick and mortar shops I tended to hit were either B&N, Books-a-Million or The Happy Bookseller. The last book I can specifically recall buying from this Walden's was (South Carolinian) David Weber's Honor Among Enemies in 1996.

Waldenbooks as a chain is owned by Borders, and the parent company has been closing these smaller outlets for years. According to this Reuters story the company plans to slash its Waldenbooks locations from 300 to 50 or 60, and I guess Columbia Mall didn't make the cut.

Written by ted on April 23rd, 2009

6 Responses to 'Waldenbooks, Columbia Mall: Early 2009'

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  1. Like you, Waldenbooks was one of the staples of my visits to Columbia Mall when my mom wanted to go shopping. She'd give me a few bucks and I'd cruise through to Waldens (or B-Dalton) and check out the comic-book "spinner" rack and then hit up Aladdin's Castle (there's a blog post for you) with whatever change I had left. The meeting point after these adventures was always the sitting area out in front of Belks with all the nice fountains and plants around.

    Brian

    24 Apr 09 at 7:46 am

  2. At least Cola. Mall has more stores in it than poor old Dutch Square..that Mall has seen better days, and Cola. Mall has/had too many gang members and other trouble makers. I dont go by there much anymore..dont know if it's worth the time. Too bad Waldens isnt there anymore. Is Spencer Gifts still there?

    Del

    24 Apr 09 at 1:25 pm

  3. Spencers has been gone for a long while. I don't fear for my life at the mall but there is no reason to go there now. It is a sterile aging mall that seems to be on its way to dead mall status. Even Columbiana holds little sway over me. I'd rather go to Charlotte for a mall experience.

    joec

    24 Apr 09 at 8:38 pm

  4. Even though Waldenbooks is out of business. At least there is still a bookstore in there.

    James Greek

    11 Jul 09 at 6:37 pm

  5. no there isint just books for less but now they changed the name again to urban knoledge

    Javier

    25 Sep 10 at 9:18 pm

  6. oh yea i loved that place, i hardly go out to columbia place mall anymore

    Aliina

    4 Feb 11 at 10:40 pm

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