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With the exception of one washout, this has been a great summer for motorcycling. Yesterday, it was a trike ride down to Bethlehem, PA taking only back roads to get there. It was about 75 miles from the lake. We saw a lot of downed trees and wires along the way. We parked the trike in the historic area of Main Street and had a nice lunch outdoors at Mamma Nina Foccacheria and then visited some of the shops. The most interesting was Seasons Olive Oil & Vinegar Taproom, which carries a large collection of exclusive, fresh extra virgin olive oils and traditional balsamic vinegars – all on tap from stainless steel Italian “fustis” for sipping before you buy.

The largest shop on Main Street is the Moravian Book Shop, the oldest continuously running bookseller in the world, founded in 1745. I don’t know what percentage of their sales comes from books, but the store offers a wide variety of distinctive merchandise. The failure of Borders leaves Barnes & Noble as the only national bookstore chain in the U.S. and it is racing to grow its e-book business with the Nook, while overall book sales continue to decline. Although printed book sales are continuing a long-term negative trend, they are not headed to zero. With unit volumes going down, printed books will surely rise in price. Some people will go to Blurb and print their own books. Many people will continue to go to book stores–maybe not the megastores like B&N–but to stores like the Moravian Book Shop where there is an entire room full of books for children and tables and displays throughout with printed books of all kinds. Then there is the Cocoon Coffee House in Hawley, PA. Many people go there for WiFi, panini, salad, and a glass of wine, but others go to buy a book. It is not exactly a book store–more of a cooperative arrangement with local libraries who may have some books to turnover. Books will be around for a long time. Libraries are not going away any time soon either. See WorldCat.