I’ve spent some time hanging around in bookstores lately. I won’t try to mention them all. Besides, I already have at one time or another. All the bookstores I’ve visited are independent, not part of a large corporate chain. It will not come as news to devotees of the written word that these brick-and-mortar outlets are special places. Some do better than others, but none are immune to the considerable pressures of modern retail realities, and all are nervous. However, I’m heartened that the smaller stores suddenly seem better positioned to weather the storms than the large chain bookstores that seemed, less than a decade ago, to be poised to obliterate their smaller competitors. Support your local bookstore! You are doubly fortunate if it’s a strong, community-minded independent.