The loss of bookstores may be one of the most embittering absence in cities for me in the new century. When I moved to San Francisco in 1992 every neighborhood had a few to choose from. No more. Even the big box behemoths like Border's and Barnes & Noble aggressively invaded then promptly collapsed. I'd just as soon burn a Kindle than use one, since a City is still defined for me by proximity to bookstores. American cities have given up that ghost, but I was thrilled to see dozens in Budapest when I was there last year. It reminded me of the gaping hole in American cities' cultural landscape.
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