Working with Wakefield Mall owner Jeff Levy, Novotny and Didriksen will open their first new independent on Saturday, Wakefield Books. It is not only on the site of the 30-year-old Wakefield, R.I., Waldenbooks that closed at the end of January, it also has the same booksellers (including manager Bob Ryan), shelving, and fixtures.
This would have been an impossible story five years ago, and fifteen years ago, you'd have been laughed out of the room if you suggested it. Sarah Weinman on Twitter linked to a 1995 story about the explosive growth propelling Borders to nationwide success:
Stressing service over pricing, comfort over convenience and depth of selection over stacks of bestsellers, Borders has created a chain that seems as attuned to the new world of technology as the refined old world of literary society. The story of its growth belies, for now, the notion of computer enthusiasts that the era of the printed text is coming to an end.