If you live in Laredo, Texas, shopping for books just got a lot harder.
On January 16th, with the closing of its’ sole bookstore – a B.Dalton – the city of a quarter million people became the largest in the United States without a single bookstore. Now anyone wanting to shop in a bricks and mortar store faces a drive of 150 miles to San Antonio.
Though the company says the store was profitable, they also told the Wall Street Journal that it doesn’t make sense to keep it open since they’ve moved on to “large-format bookstores,” selling a broader range of merchandise, including music, videos, toys, and coffee. I like coffee and comfy couches as much as anyone, but it leaves the book-starved citizens of Laredo out of luck.
The best that pleas from schoolchildren and a resolution from the city council that Laredo needs a bookstore has gotten? Some interest from the major chains and the possibility that a bookstore might come to the city sometime in 2011. But, for now, Laredo is the largest city in the U.S. without a single bookstore.
Author Julia Quinn was appalled. Here’s what she had to say about the situation: