Why we still need good indie bookstores

August 13, 2014
Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. (Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

A reader named Maureen Feinroth sends in this anecdote about her book-shopping experience at a Barnes & Noble in the Washington area:

Me: Hi, I am looking for the new biography of Beethoven. I don’t see it on the shelf.

Salesperson: I can look it up for you. [Typing “b-a-y . . .”]

Me: No, it’s Beethoven: “b-e-e . . .”

Salesperson: Oh “Beethoven.” I LOVED that movie!!! Wait. The dog wrote a book?



Ron Charles is the editor of The Washington Post's Book World. For a dozen years, he enjoyed teaching American literature and critical theory in the Midwest, but finally switched to journalism when he realized that if he graded one more paper, he'd go crazy.
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