There aren't as many bookstores as there used to be. There been some growth in small independents, and even a few used bookstores have shown up, but the big chains have dwindled; I think Books A Million is still around (but not widespread) and Barnes and Noble has been an trouble for many years.
It's Amazon. I feel a little disloyal writing it -- Amazon has long been both a major beneficiary of and an enabler of online culture -- but it's true. As much as I love shopping at Amazon and the convenience of my Kindle, there's a lot be be said for going to an actual bookstore and looking, picking up and reading actual books before deciding to buy them or not. (But maybe not just right now.)
Barnes and Noble is owned by a hedge fund these days. The people running it have decided they'd better get some expert help. I dislike throwing a link to that rat Bloomberg, but the new guy at the top of Barnes and Noble may be a good thing.
We'll see. In the meantime, visit your local bookstore -- new or used, chain or independent. Get out there and buy a book!
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