On Saturday, I went to the Shakespeare Theatre to see The Imaginary Invalid. We managed to score a parking spot right next door -- right in front of the Penn Quarter Olsson's books -- which, apparently, is now closed.
Now, I'm not going to write a great lament about the demise of the small independent book and music stores -- been there, done that. Besides, that Olsson's location did nothing for me. The cafe was not very large or good, and there was not a lot of room to sit there and read. The books (and CDs) were overpriced, the selection was not great, and a lot of the time, it was just impossible to find what I came in to look for. And in terms of authors/readings/events, other local stores seem to do a way better job.
So, I guess what I am going to say is that it's a matter of economics -- the small stores generally can't compete with the large chains in terms of pricing, so to stay alive, they need to do something else -- or do it better. Like how some smaller coffee shops are doing well, despite the bad economy causing Starbucks to close 600 stores. Maybe the bookstores and record stores should take note.