Here is a great article outlining the landscape of bookstores around Northwestern University. No punches were pulled and nothing is overly romanticized. Evanston, being a college town, seems to be a microcosm of all the trends we’re seeing nationally.
At any given time you are probably only one mouse-click away from someone online bemoaning the downward spiral that independant bookstores are caught in. It seems that most of them simply want to vent the romanticism of small local book shops. Which I get. Perusing local bookshops makes me about as happy as I can be. But there are realities and the change that goes with those realities.
And the reality is, that there was an ad for an Amazon coupon flashing on the website as I was reading this article featuring quotes and interviews with local booksellers. So even when they are in the spotlight, Amazon is blinking in the sidebar.
So I hope more people will take time to simply say “here is the current situation” and then start developing ways to help local shops maintain their rightful place as local anchors. And I do wish I can visit Carlson’s Bookman’s Alley someday.