The venerable Bodhi Tree Bookstore in Los Angeles, California will close later this year, according to its owners, Phil Thompson and Stan Madson. You can catch the whole sad story by clicking here.
There were four bookstores in the United States where you could walk in and find almost any book on Buddhism ever published in the English language. The first was Shambhala, on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, now long gone. The second is Bodhi Tree, in the process of going. The third was Samuel Weiser's, in New York, also gone, and the fourth was Pasadena's Oriental Bookstore -- gone but not forgotten.
Amazon has done for bookstores what WalMart did for Main Street.
Where can I put a flower --- a flower that I found on a careless afternoon, with a pleasant companion, who kept it in her hair for just a while --- when there are no more pages to the books; when there are only screens? Where can I stand --- on a rainy afternoon, between appointments, enjoying the competition of the printers and designers and binders and pages --- when there are no more bookstores with their special scents, worn wood, and endless possibilities?