From Rebecca Mead at (again!) The New Yorker:
When books can be bought so cheaply online, or at one of the dwindling number of discount retailers, paying more to shop at a local bookstore feels virtuous, like buying locally sourced organic vegetables, or checking to see if a T-shirt is made in the U.S.A. It can be gratifying to the point of smugness to feel that one is being pluralistic, liberal, and humane; shopping at an independent bookstore may be one of the diminishing opportunities to experience that feeling in first-class New York City. Still, when I consider the vanished bookstores of Manhattan, I mourn not just their passing but the loss of a certain kind of book-buying innocence—a time when where one bought a book did not constitute a political statement, and reading it did not feel like participating in a requiem.
Referencing: Literary City, Bookstore Desert