A New York Times article entitled A Princeton Maverick Succumbs To A Cultural Shift suggests that "movies and television shows [have] replaced books as the cultural topics people liked to talk about over dinner, at cocktail parties, at work." Logan Fox, whose bookstore, Micawber Books will close in March says, "The amount of time spent discussing culturally iconic shows has superseded anything in the way of books that I can detect."
Meaning that it's not just the big box chain stores that are killing the indie bookstores. Life is having a hand in this.
A couple of summers back I was in a Borders looking for books on writing short stories. I came up very short. But I saw a shelf, maybe two, on writing screenplays. Yes, we do seem to be shifting to a...uh, maybe visual literature?
I have an interest in history. That doesn't mean I'm committed to the past or stuck there. It means that I understand that change happens. Yeah, it's going to be majorly too bad if I can't keep publishing because fewer and fewer people are reading. But cultures evolve.
Remember, back in the nineteenth century the literary establishment was worried because people were reading those new-fangled novels. Now we've evolved to the point where we're worried because people aren't reading them.
Thanks to artsJournal for the link.