Cover Story - Outlook 2010: The Future of the Industry
What does it mean when a city of 230,000 loses its lone bookstore, as is happening to Laredo, Texas, in early 2010? With a world of books available to purchase online, is it merely a symbolic loss, or is there something more deep-rooted at work?
To answer that question, Thom Chambliss, executive director of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association, cites as an example the instance of a literary figure sitting in a matinee. According to Chambliss, on a recent edition of "The Colbert Report," poet and author Sherman Alexie spoke of having time to catch an afternoon movie while on a book tour. "He goes to movies during the day because he has nothing to do before [signing] autographs at bookstores in the evening," Chambliss says. "Newspapers and radio are not doing [interviews] anymore. There's no local outlet. We no longer have book awareness at the local level."