I just spent a week on Cape Cod and while I was there I stopped by a few of my favorite independent bookstores. I was delighted to see that after an absence of three years all of the stores are a) still in business and b) were populated with people buying things. Hooray!
The Provincetown Bookstore right on Commercial Street is small and jam-packed with tons of great field guides and books of local interest, not to mention lots of books by local authors as well as the latest great reads on the various best-sellers lists. Right next door is Tim's Used Books, one of my favorite places to find something unexpected. This year I came away with a charming 1950's field guide to...all living things. Except insects.
I also visited the Brewster Book Store for the first time. What a cute little shop! And bustling with customers on the rainy afternoon that I was there. They also have a good selection of cards/gifts and toys/games, similar to what we sell here. I felt right at home.
I am obviously aware that the book selling business is difficult and changing, and some say it's "doomed" or whatever, but from what I saw in this one little part of the world, there is still a place for books and bookstores and book-lovers. I was SO glad to be able stop in and support all of them with the purchase of a book or two. I know people in other parts of the country are not as lucky as we are - to have a selection of stores to choose from. Despite the state of the economy and the e-book issue, I optimistically think a decent number of these treasures are here to stay.