Where else, where else, are we going to find a magazine like Flea Market Style, new hardcovers for 30 percent off and a sales table that’s almost always selling something origami-related?

It’s a crying shame.

We’re taking the loss of Waldenbooks hard.

Bag Lady and Shopping Siren are serious readers, to the point that we both tried to pen books as 6-year-olds. Reading spurs the imagination. Lots of reading … maybe too much imagination. Bag Lady’s plot involved a leprechaun and a horse that slept in a bed — she’ll say no more. Shopping Siren’s centered around the Poky Little Puppy, never mind that she was basically copying the original “Poky Little Puppy.” It’s sad to imagine the Twin Cities with nary a full-scale new-book shop after news that Waldenbooks’ parent, Borders, is closing all of its doors.

Deep sales are of course to come, though we have no idea what prices or selection will look like. Word is Borders’ liquidation process starts today, and the poor Waldenbooks sales associates told us they didn’t know what that meant for the Auburn store. Waldenbooks could liquidate its stock there — sales! — or everything could be sent elsewhere. 

Either way, it’s heartbreaking.

To cheer ourselves up this week we waxed nostalgic up and down the bookstore aisles. We also found some cool new titles to add to our potential-favorites list, and we grabbed what we could afford. Hey, it’s a coping strategy. 

* “Joey Green’s Cleaning Magic” by Joey Green, $5.99

Well, “Mop floors with Lipton Tea” certainly catches the eye. We have to wonder how Joey Green discovered such a thing.

* “Kiss My Math: Showing Pre-Algebra Who’s Boss” by Danica McKellar, $4.99

You may know her better as Winnie Cooper from “The Wonder Years.” She’s all grown up and is, apparently, a math whiz. We always knew she was too good for that Kevin kid.

* “Super Simple Cupcake Recipes” by Cookbook Resources, $3.99

This book in hand, Shopping Siren marched over to the cash register and virtually thrust a wad of bills at the startled cashier. It’s hard to walk away from more than 200 cupcake, frosting and filling recipes, some made with the aid of a cake mix and others completely from scratch. Sometimes, a book just calls your name. Sometimes, so do white chocolate explosion cupcakes with Kahlua-chocolate frosting. 

Bag Lady’s personal faves:

* “The Walking Dead: Vol. 1” by Robert Kirkman, $9.99

Issues 1-6 of a comic book in which, on any page, anybody can bite it. (Or, er, get bitten.) That adorable little darling? Gone. The stand-up guy? Axed. The shifty fellow? Fine, maybe you guessed he was due for a fork in the eye. It’s a soap opera with a daring bit of writing set against a zombie apocalypse and the basis for a hit AMC series by the same name. Win!

For whatever reason this has turned into the Year of the Zombie for Bag Lady. Surely, Year of the Fuzzy Lop-Eared Bunny is next.

* “Good in Bed” by Jennifer Weiner, $15

Funny, touching, with a happily-ever-after payoff. The fact that the heroine’s a reporter? Absolutely nothing to do with the thumbs-up. Absolutely. Nothing.

* “Cars and Trucks and Things That Go” by Richard Scarry, $14.99

Back in the day, BL loved Scarry’s rosy-cheeked animals that donned hats and overalls and drove cars. Probably where she got the notion that horses could snooze under covers, now that she thinks about it.

* Nancy Drew mysteries “The Secret of the Old Clock” by Carolyn Keene, $6.99

BL also devoured anything with Nancy, best friends Bess and George, and that dashing Ned Nickerson. Alliterative names only add to the handsomeness.

Shopping Siren’s personal faves:

* “The Poky Little Puppy” by Janette Sebring Lowrey, $3.99

This Little Golden Book was one of Shopping Siren’s early favorites. She’s not sure why, though it did involve puppies and it talked quite a bit about dessert. Hm. Actually, yeah, that might be the reasons right there.

* “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card, $6.99

Kids in space. There’s more to this book than that, a lot more, but that’s what grabbed Shopping Siren’s attention when she first got this years and years (and years) ago.

* “Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins, $8.99

The first of a wildly popular trilogy for young adults, but you don’t have to be a young adult to read it. SS picked this up a few weeks ago and plowed through the first book in less than a day and the full trilogy over the long weekend. The plot (involving a post-apocalyptic world and a plucky young heroine forced to fight — literally — for her life), the characters and the writing are all fabulous. The theme is disturbing at times, but this is a page-turner if there ever was one.

* “The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger, $14.95

A love story with time travel. There is no bad here.

Now if only we could travel in time to find a new bookstore.

Bag Lady and Shopping Siren’s true identities are protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who never liked “The Pokey Little Puppy,” but love desserts) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected]


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