October 4th, 2007

krazy koati

That was only yesterday

Shock, horror! The Waldenbooks in the Freehold Raceway Mall, which is the nearest such to me now that the mall I used to work at has been torn down (not my fault), is itself closing this weekend. It's not an enormous inconvenience, since there's a Barnes & Noble right nearby home, and another Barnes & Noble basically across the highway from the Mall, and there's still The Book Garden for my used-book needs. And it's not even that great a surprise, at least in hindsight, since the mall has been expanding and a new Borders which they've been saying is ``opening soon'' is supposed to be opening soon. They must be getting marginally more serious about it, since the mall exit to which the Borders is attached says they're hiring now.

Despite my skills at going from rest to maudlin in seconds this isn't disturbing me, somehow. I suppose it's that first I didn't have any really strong connections with the store. In fact, its opening effectively killed off the Waldenbooks I did work for, which was a few miles up Route 9 and in a failed mall. And it's being replaced with another bookstore that's owned by the same people, only larger and with presumably a better selection. In this regard it's not much more than moving to a new spot and expanding, albeit under a name making their corporate overlordship more obvious.

Still, in its last week, it's got that miasma of the store on the verge of collapse. I wouldn't dismiss the 40-percent-off-at-least on anything, but the complete emptiness of the magazine racks and the gap-tooth appearance of shelves that don't quite have enough stock anymore give it that end-of-days look. The staff seem pretty harried in trying to keep what's left in some semblance of order, and I admit they seem to be doing well in trying to keep up their morale. (I don't know if they're being transferred to the Borders when it opens, as it seemed rude to ask.) Cleaning out a store ahead of a shutdown/move can't be any easier than cleaning out a home, and I wonder what sorts of things everyone assumed had been thrown out years ago have crept back in now that there's really no time to deal with it anymore.

Back home, I learned my mother knew about the closing and discounts already. I don't know why she hadn't thought to tell me about it.

Trivia: Following the launch of Sputnik the London Daily Mirror changed its slogan from claiming the ``biggest daily sale in the world'' to the ``biggest daily sale in the universe''. Source: Vanguard: A History, Constance McLaughlin Green, Milton Lomask. NASA SP-4202.

Currently Reading: The C-5A Scandal, Berkeley Rice. Because I like to be caught up on military contractor scandals of forty years ago when a two-billion dollar cost overrun on a plane of questionable utility and a problem getting the wings to stay on looked bad.