The Waldenbooks in Auburn, one town west of me, is closing, with all their stock being 40% off. Who can resist such a literary bargain? I bought several books I wouldn't've otherwise: Star Trek: The Buried Age; the Justice graphic novel (which I didn't realize is apparently only part one of three?); and Foundation. That last title is particularly exciting, as I've never read any of Isaac Asimov's work other than his robot short stories, and Foundation is a seminal novel I recently identified as missing from my reading background.

But why is this Waldenbooks closing a week from today? The Waldenbooks in Leominster, where I spent many a college hour behind the counter, closed a year ago this month. That leaves very few Waldenbooks left in this county, though a much larger Borders store exists just east of here. But that's a standalone; Waldenbooks are mall stores, and how can a mall be a mall without a bookstore? Are the larger Barnes & Nobles with their Starbucks cafés pushing out the smaller competition? Must every store be a megastore to survive nowadays? Whatever the reason, the lack of choices and availability to our favorite publications is a loss for everyone, not just the store employees.