My friend Kristan commented on my last post asking if I'd intentionally left out the B in Waldenbooks. The answer is yes and here's why. (It's a particularly good story, considering where Borders Group Inc is now.)
My first bookselling job, beginning July 2004, was at a Waldenbooks in a mall in semi-upstate New York. (You may recall an incident in 2005 when we made CNN thanks to a man with an AK-47 who shot up the place. Yes, I was there.) It was a tiny little store in a pretty crappy mall, but the people I worked with were (for the most part) stellar. But Borders as a corporation is what it is (and was) and shut my store, as well as 90 other Waldenbooks stores across the country down in January of 2007.
Prior to that, around about when I started working there, the light in one of the B's in our sign went out. And so we called up a repair guy or whoever and they came and fixed it, problem solved, right? After a while we start getting phone calls from the repair guys, who, it turns out, never got paid. So we keep referring them to the Home Office, because it's obviously not our jurisdiction. But they keep calling us and them, and getting no answer on either side. So what did they do?
They came back and repoed our B.
And until the day it died, our sign that looked out on the majority of the mall read, "Walden ooks". So that's what we called it. It still holds a very special place in my heart.