With the coming closing of B. Dalton's, Laredo, Texas, population about a quarter of a million, is about to become the nation's largest city without a single bookstore. The story includes this "Well, duh!" observation:
Some worry that the closing could send a message that books and reading are not priorities in Laredo, a hot, steamy city of 230,000 that is choked by smog from trucks lining up at the border, which is home to the nation's biggest entry point for trucks and trains.
Nearly half of the population of Webb County, which includes Laredo, lacks basic literacy skills, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
I'd say the message that books and reading are not Laredo priorities has already been pretty well sent. I love the library, sure, and I order a lot of books online, including electronic ones for my Kindle, but is civilized life even possible without a bookstore?