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The latest issue of Publisher’s Weekly spotlights Virginia and the District in its weekly feature on bookstores around the country, “United States of Bookselling.” There’s not a whole lot of news in the piece—if you’ve been itching to buy books online from the National Gallery of Art’s Web site, your ship is about to come in. But the article does include a curious detail: “[T]he District has a large number of bookstores per capita, ranking fourth after Montana.”
Montana? Granted, the state has a healthy stable of well–known writers, and a sizable number of wealthy, educated folks clustering around Livingston. But, third-highest per-capita number of bookstores? Seems high—and nothing in PW’s feature on Montana paints a picture of a bustling scene.
So, can any Montanans, displaced or otherwise, attest to the state’s vibrant literary culture? A quick google tells me that the only people making a serious noise about Montana’s literary status are part of a mildly disarming collective that’s attempting to turn Montana into a libertarian free state—a place that Wonkette will likely dub Paultardia, if it hasn’t already.