Apr 15 2007
In a recent article The San Francisco Chronicle mourned the loss of yet another independent bookstore, and the loss of independent bookstores in general, whose numbers across the USA have dropped by half since 1993, as shoppers eyeball books in the independents and then go and buy online or at Costco, or skip visiting their local bookstore at all. Some might argue that if the vast herd of readers are getting what they want then there's no problem, but "what's lost in the rush are variety, quirkiness and personality, the very qualities that people want most when they pick up a book." The solution? How about subsidies to book-sellers such as cotton farmers collect? What about Homeland Security money to protect the nation against an attack of bookstore sameness as evil as any terrorist plot? A more realistic answer might be a long look in the mirror and a few moments spent thinking about what's at stake. Then head to your local bookstore to savor its distinctiveness.
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