Will readers take the bookstore challenge?

Garrison Keillor has sold his bookstore, MPR’s Euan Kerr reports, and if you’re at all like me, your first reaction is likely, “why would someone buy a dinosaur like a bookstore?”

Nicholas Ballas, 58, doesn’t exactly answer the question of how he’s going to make money in what is reportedly a dying industry, thanks to Amazon.

“I started looking at the business and ended up liking what I saw and then buying the bookstore,” said Ballas, whose background suggests he may have a few bucks to risk on the venture.

The Pioneer Press says business at the store has declined since Keillor stopped spending much time in the place.

The challenge seems to be clear to literary-minded folks: Support local bookstores or watch them die and, oh by the way, don’t bother lamenting something you helped cause.

This morning on Twitter, a bookstore in Lawrence, Kansas provided a glimpse of just how ruthless the online booksellers are.

Sure, a local bookstore is a business, but when an owner — especially a new owner — shovels sand against the economic tide, it stands as a challenge to the rest of us: are we willing to do anything to keep local businesses and industries in our community and if so, what?

Ballas says he’s keeping all the employees, changing the name of the place to Next Chapter, and considering selling books online.