Brick-and-Mortar Bookstores vs. Buying Online: We're All Guilty One Way or Another

When you look over your history of buying books, how do you feel? You should feel like hell. If you've bought even one book from an online seller, well, you blew it — A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books might still be open if it weren't for that book.

We're not kidding.

Everybody is guilty. Everybody sucks. Is it going to take every last bookstore in the city closing before people change their behavior? Yes, it will. And yet …

How many times have you gone to a brick-and-mortar neighborhood treasure and quietly seethed over not receiving 30 to 40 percent off a new hardcover? And how many times have you made a special trip for a book that's out of stock? Relish in your guilt at Booksmith's special celebration and community dialogue tonight (Monday).

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