Larry Portzline, the founder of the grassroots movement Bookstore Tourism who earlier this year announced his plans for a ten-week trip to visit independent bookstores across the country in early 2008, recently decided to call off all activities associated with indie bookstores. Portzline was trying to raise money for the Why Indie Bookstores Matter Tour, which would have taken him to two hundred bookstores in all fifty states, but in the end he could not secure enough funding. He had planned to ask owners, booksellers, and customers a single question: "Why do indie bookstores matter?" The blog that Portzline had launched, www.whyindiebookstoresmatter.com, on which he planned to post updates, photographs, and podcasts of his interviews, is no longer active.
Portzline, who founded Bookstore Tourism in July 2003 when he organized a bus trip for forty-five book lovers from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to New York City, had appealed to the American Booksellers Association and other organizations to help fund the national tour.