Yes, I realize even if you live in the L.A. area you may not want to make the trip to Thousand Oaks to pick up the latest whodunnit or (as is more often the case because serial killers are so popular with mystery writers) the latest whokeepsondoinit. Surely, though, if you hunt around, you will find an independent bookstore within unicycle distance your hut.
It may be a specialty bookstore like Mysteries to Die For, the above-mentioned and above-pictured sleuthbook store located in that badly oak-infested suburb of L.A., or it may be an all-things-to-all-people kind of place — like the previously posted-about Townhouse Books in St. Chaz, IL — holding on against the encroachment of those useful but big and boxy big-box bookstores. Small or large, independent bookstores fall into the category of Things That Make Life Good, and into the category of Things That Deserve Your Support as well. We will miss them if they disappear.
But will they disappear? In this Time of Hope, we Hope Not. But financial strain that large businesses can weather may wrack small ones, and financial strain is what we can expect from the impending hurricane of taxes — the hurricane of taxes chosen freely by the non-fraudulent portion of the Obama voters. Indie bookstores are going to feel the bite.
So, please, next time you are tempted to buy a book from Am*z*n, just copy the ISBN instead and take it to your friendly neighborhood book merchant. If the book is not stocked, Mr. Book Merchant will gladly order it for you direct from the publisher. You’ll be able to clutch it to your bosom in mere days — and without the shipping charge, bubble wrap or cardboard box.
(I bought Tim Dorsey’s Torpedo Juice, a Serge A. Storms novel. Maybe I’ll review it later.)
UPDATE: I did.