Hard work and economic growth finally are paying off for South Side students, community and business leaders — they're getting a major chain bookstore in South Park Mall this summer.
Tim Duda, a South San High School teacher who long has lobbied for a South Side bookstore, thinks the continued publicity and constant correspondence with various bookstores helped convince Waldenbooks to plan the 3,000-square-foot store, which is to open in July.
For six years, students in Duda's economics classes campaigned to bring in bookstores, which bloom in a wide band across the city's North Side. The students organized "Books in the Barrio," which called for bringing a bookstore south of downtown through public activities such as poetry readings at South Park Mall.
The full story can be read online here: Bookstore means a new chapter in S. Side history. Sure, it's only a Waldenbooks, but I remember growing up in tiny Columbus, Texas, where we didn't even have that, and visiting a Waldenbooks or B. Dalton in a mall in Houston or Victoria was a big deal. A Waldenbooks will be a great addition to the area, particularly if they follow through on commitments to tailor their stock to the community's interests.
While I don't doubt this wouldn't have happened without Books in the Barrio's unceasing efforts, the cynic in me suspects that the huge new Toyota truck plant being built just down the road probably played just as big--if not bigger--role in the Waldenbooks decision.
Hmm. I wonder if they'd have any interest in a science fiction book signing next spring...
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