News of the closing of Laredo's last bookstore has finally hit the Wall Street Journal of all places. Apparently literacy in Texas is worth the attention of those who tend the national economy. Do you suppose that being able to read actually matters?
Stephanie Simon's article is headlined:
City Tries to Rewrite Lone Bookstore's Last Chapter : Laredo Residents Campaign to Prevent Closing of B. Dalton Shop That Serves as Community Resource, Gathering Place
"LAREDO, Texas -- Mary Benavides steps from behind the cash register several times a day to embrace the mourners.
For more than 30 years, she has managed the mall's B. Dalton outlet -- the only bookstore in Laredo. It will close next month.
All B. Daltons nationwide are closing, as corporate parent Barnes & Noble shutters the chain. In this era of mega-bookstores with cafes and cozy couches and 150,000 titles -- and with more than a million books available online -- B. Dalton's cramped outlets no longer make economic sense." Read more at
Those of us at the Parlor speculate if we lived in Laredo, we'd go to the City Librarian and begin (now just ask or just try) the process of allowing the City Library discards and the discards from other nearby libraries (hint, hint TAMU-I) to form the basis of a used book store (with serious intent) through a commodious and convenient, well-lighted space. In short time, new books could be added to the line. If free enterprize will not address the obvious public needs, the government should. Or you can offer a different idea.