Every so often I'll be driving in some rural or far off locale and pass by something that seems a bit out of place. Now this isn't to say that rural-ness should mean a lack of books or bookstores, but that sometimes you just don't expect to see certain things. This was the experience I had a couple months ago, while I was driving out near Utica, NY--just to the north and east of there. I was in the little town of Johnstown, and as I drove through town, it became clear that this little place once had a fairly vibrant (if I can call it such) book-culture. Perhaps vibrant for a quiet locality in the southern foothills of the Adirondack mountains. It was unusual to find not one, but two book shops in such a small town. Sadly, though, this first little storefront was closed up. It had been called "Buythebook." The other shop, which was still open and only a block away was called "Mysteries on Main St." I'm glad to see that at least one book shop survives, especially in these hard economic times here.