Bookstores have personalities.
I thought about that as I walked through Brookline Booksmith in Boston a week or so ago.
I only get to go to that store a couple times a year. But I always enjoy it. When you buy a book from Brookline Booksmith, you buy the whole environment--Coolidge Corner, possibly a trip on the T, maybe a stop at Zaftig's down the street.
Brookline Booksmith has a personality all its own.
Pogo's is the single wisest saying I've ever run across--"We have met the enemy and he is us."
Pogo's comment applies to most things, not just to the environment.
We love local bookstores, but we shop at Amazon.
Local bookstores take more work. You have to go there. You have to shop. You have to choose from the books they have, books which reflect the personality of the people who run that particular store and the environment in which that store lives.
Not that your local book store won't order something. And not that you shouldn't order from them rather than from a box store for books. But the demise of local bookstores reflects something of the demise of the character of our small towns, local neighborhoods and nation.
The only way for us to overcome ourselves, especially when it comes to reading, is to take time to shop at our local bookstores.