[Editor’s note: For the next two Fridays, Flavorwire will be counting down our 20 most popular features of 2010. This post, which originally ran on September 2, 2010, comes in at position number 11.] Bookstores are dying. They’re dying because of jerks who are too cheap to buy a hardcover, or even a paperback, and too lazy to get a library card. Guys like the one from Julie Bosman‘s NY Times article, and this guy, and this guy. Even before we break into the eBooks discussion, think about everything else that reading is supposed to contend with these days — movies, video games, television, and the internet. And now that there’s competition even within the “book” medium, it’s no wonder that Barnes and Noble is closing a four-level shop (for those of you in New York, the Union Square Megastore is safe) and Borders agonizes through round after round of layoffs and store closings.
After the jump, please shed a tear, observe a moment of silence, then head to one of the top bookstores in the United States, and buy something fer chrissakes.
First, a memorial of sorts. The Gotham Book Mart closed in 2007, ending a storied role in literary culture. You can read more about it here, but please support your local bookstore (and our favorites below) so smart, creative people don’t run out of places to hang out and find dates.