Speaking personally, I have long since stopped shopping at the nearby Christian bookstore. They almost never have the books I want and even if they did, I would pay quite a bit for them and spend a lot of time driving there and back. And then there’s the fact that so much of what they carry is junk—not just trinkets and toys, but material that is opposed to sound doctrine. The last time I went to a Christian bookstore there was a section for Roman Catholics and a section for people who need their fix of Joyce Meyer and Benny Hinn. And I thought, “This is no more Christian than Amazon.” In fact, I think it is actually worse; under the banner of “Christian” things are being sold that claim to be Christian but are deceptively anti-Christian. That may have been the moment I realized that I felt no obligation to support that business.
Read The Local Christian Bookstore.
Let me be brutally honest: Visiting a local Christian bookstore feels like visiting a has-been business (as is the case with pretty much any other bookstore). The whole publishing industry is changing and the little family-owned Christian bookstore seems to be increasingly obsolete. And at least as it pertains to me, I don’t think I will lose anything when the last local Christian bookstore has closed its doors. I feel guilty saying that and I truly feel for the people who own those stores. But unless they can radically change what they do and how they do it, I don’t see most of them making it in this new world.
Providentially, I came to the exact same conclusion just last week. After finding myself in a local Christian retailer I realized that this place is over-priced, poorly-stocked, heresy-filled, and packed to the gills with nonsense. I'm done.
Challies is right, most of them will not make it. But neither is that a bad thing. We need less (anti)Christian bookstores on the market.