Before there was Amazon, before there was Borders or Barnes & Noble, there was Waldenbooks. The all-American mall bookstore.
There was one of these in both of the malls near my house. As I’ve noted before, I’m a child of the 1970s and 1980s, and I grew up in the Golden Age of the American Mall.
I bought a lot of books at Waldenbooks in those days. (I was a lucky kid, and my mom bought me books when I was too young to buy them myself.)
The selection in the most well-stocked Waldenbooks was but a fraction of what is available on Amazon. And there were few discounts; most titles sold at full price. Because there was no online competition.
I’m not claiming that it was more economically efficient, or even better for reading. But those mall bookstores…they became sources of great memories for those of us who came of age at a certain time in the American suburbs.