Sad news in yesterday's Westmorland Gazette - the Henry Roberts bookshop in Kendal is closing its doors for the last time in January.
The reasons given: the shop can no longer compete with either the internet, or cheap books in supermarkets, and has been running at a loss for some time. I'd noticed that lately it was operating more as a discount store than what you might call a 'proper' bookshop, but the news is still quite a shock. And apparently the branch in Hawkshead has already gone. I didn't notice last time we visited the village, but I'm really sad about that. I can remember buying books in that shop years ago, and I liked it, dammit.
I don't know what can be done about this issue, short of begging people to support their local book shops. Yes, they can be a pound or two more expensive than the supermarkets, but they have a vastly wider choice of books than the 'top ten bestsellers plus the latest celebrity cookbook' offered by most branches of Tesco and Sainsburys. And the staff are often deeply enthusiastic about their stock and can suggest books, order books, talk about books - which you'd never get from Amazon.
But progress is progress, I guess, even if it takes out familiar landmarks and much-loved stores in the process.