Media watchers have gleefully predicted a total collapse of the brick-and-mortar bookselling industry for, oh, about twenty years or so by my count, yet I still have no trouble finding a store in which to buy the latest issue of The Paris Review, or the new Stephen King novel, or a fun picture book for my niece. Actually, I have a choice of stores in which to do these things: four independents and a Barnes & Noble within a mile walk of my apartment and another two dozen or so a subway ride away. “But what about the rural of us?” you rightly ask, and to you I say, “Same thing.” During my last trip to the farm country of the Hudson Valley I found three bookstores including another B&N and not including a record store that also sold books. While the cottage industry of publishing doomsayer Nostradami may be just as lucrative these days as retail bookselling, the latter is still alive and thriving. There are scores of good reasons for this that all add up to an essential truth: brick-and-mortar bookstores have significant competitive advantages over Amazon and other online retailers, many of which are too rarely leveraged in the increasingly desperate battle for book sales.