Clearly, it's time to read Lev Grossman's article in Time about the future of books. I expect to agree, argue, and quibble in various measures. In the meantime, GalleyCat has a good summary and analysis of the piece, especially as it pertains to us snobby NYers.
In the meantime, Bookninja pointed me to an indie bookstore story from Britain that sounds like something out of a Frank Capra movie. An MP from Lancashire discovered that his beloved, homey local indie bookstore is closing because of economic pressure. So he storms into Parliament and tells everyone it's high time the government started supporting locally owned small businesses. And for good measure, he tells publishers they'd better be careful about relying too much on chains and online sellers, because "it's in their own interests to have a large number of outlets." Since when did a politician get so passionate, practical, and well-informed? Truly it is a new day in politics. Perhaps Kaydee Bookshop in Clitheroe will become our rallying cry for a new politics of supporting the local and independent.