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.