I used to be a big supporter of boutique bookshops, the kind you'd find in your local shops, carved out of an old building. They were a shelter from the world. A place where you could escape reality, find friends and build your own world, but are they providing the same utopia? Or are they in desperate need of a reinterpretation?
I find bookstores fall into three main categories right now:
1. Awful franchises with outdated genre specification and cataloging and a functioning model so outdated, it should have gone out with the space shuttle.
2. Small local, still hanging-on, old building style, second hand, overcrowded, smelly wastelands that we all used to love visiting, but now just seem sad - devoid of life and alternate for the sake of being alternate.
3. Upmarket snob-fests where 'literary-fiction', although highly controversial as being a 'genre' or not, is the beacon of intelligence. It's touted as the only writing that's really 'writing', the new French, the new black that's old. These bookstores are not even bookstores, they are insulated and inbred, authoritarian wannabe's that only breed with their own. They are genetically manipulated, hybrid sheep.
Yes, this is no exhausted list, and it doesn't maintain to be 'the' list by any stretch of the imagination, but just go out there and try to find a nice balance in your bookstore. If you've found one, then let others know, otherwise I think that as a society, as a bunch of lucid individuals, we owe it to ourselves to re-invent the dinosaur before it's gone forever.
Guaranteed that won't be long. The internet is doing a much better job at being less intrusive, less snobby or demanding of their clientele.
In the end, all that matters is the writer, the book and the reader.
Long live the word.