Why do certain small towns thrive and others struggle?
"Some towns seem to be having more fun, seem to have their act together," singer-songwriter Dar Williams told CNBC's "On the Money" in an interview. "They have more dog walkers, more signs that say 'free coffee' instead of 'no bathroom'."
Williams has sold millions of albums, and spent a career on tour and on the road, performing in small towns for more than 20 years. From that unique vantage point, she's compiled many of her favorite places into, "What I Found In a Thousand Towns," a new book published in September.
"I've been to a lot of towns where there's almost this kind of collective feel of people choosing to say, 'I'm going to be with neighbors and that's a good thing,'" she explained to CNBC. "And so I called that 'positive proximity.'"
In her book, she defined the term as "a state of being where living side by side with other people is experienced as beneficial."