Gay science fiction (and general-interest) writer Perry Brass expresses his love/hate/love affair with "the elephant in the room," Barnes & Noble, and explains how its fortunes have affected his writing, gay books, niche books in general and reading itself:
"Ebooks are killing brick-and-mortar stores, but even worse, serious reading itself is becoming extinct. Reading as a discrete, self-enclosed yet community-building (not to mention magical) activity is on the decline. My generation, the Baby Boomers, may be the last to revere writers as important people in their own right. Now, many writers are either springboards for popular movies (i.e. Harry Potter), have careers elsewhere that they then write about (i.e. Anderson Cooper, Ellen, Oprah, or anyone else with either a political or show biz memoir—those two genres are really interchangeable these days), or they have some connection with sports scandals and/or ecological sleaziness.
"In other words, reading and experiencing a book for the sheer, God-awful pleasure of it (like smoking and drinking hard liquor) is considered a waste of valuable time, time that would be better spent hustling in the '24/7' marketplace of life."