After 19 years, four administrations and three moves, the Waldenbooks at Landmark Mall is closing its doors at 9 p.m. tonight. A lot of my personal history--good and bad--goes with them.
This was the store where I hid nearly every day in the weeks following Teri's death. That wonderful new book smell always reminds me that the world is endlessly new and full of possibilities. It was something I desperately needed then.
The Landmark Waldenbooks hosted the first book signing for With Nine You Get Vanyr. The staff was thrilled when they heard one of my stories was to share book space with one by Bob Asprin. They ooh-ed and ah-ed when I showed them the flats of the proposals circulated at last year's Frankfurt Book Fair, and they looked forward to the publication of Fantasy Art Templates, the book resulting from one of those proposals. I'd hoped to hold Fantasy Art Templates' "friends and family" signing there too. But that's not going to happen.
I trust everyone will land on their feet. Several members of the staff told me the bookstore wasn't their main job. It just kept them in books and let them hang with crazy auth--er, interesting writers. They'll all miss it, though.
My world will certainly be poorer for the loss. I think the mall will be too. The Waldenbooks was my anchor store. I didn't go to Landmark for Macy's or Lord & Taylor. I went for the bookstore. Every other purchase followed from that. I may be a little unusual in that respect, but I don't think I'm unique.