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Subject: Monday Rant: Used Book Stores rss

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CHAPEL
United States
Round Rock
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There used to be this great used book store in Austin a few years back, and now it's gone. It had the greatest selection of SciFi I had ever seen. Hardbacks and paper backs. I'm a big reader of older science fiction and it's new book stores just don't publish as many classics as they used to.

But I've always loved those used book stores that were usually built in some old house that smelled like grandma's. Where every nook and cranny were stuffed with books to the ceiling. With enough searching, you were always bound to find what you're looking for.

Well now they opened this "chain" used book store here in Texas called Half Price Books. And while cool in concept, out of the last 10 books I was searching for they had exactly 2.

Then I find out that my favorite growing up was a place called Bird Song in Albuquerque NM is still open! Man if I could only transplant it here to Austin.

I miss the old used book stores. And get off my lawn.
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jeff
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Cumberland
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That sucks...

There is an old book store in the center of Salem Mass. It's on the main strip of stores.

It is packed with so many books, that (im not exagerating) there are no shelves it's just piles of books. At the register on the counter, there are piles more. You wouldn't know that's the place to check out, cept it being common that cash registers are at the front of store near the door. There are so many books on the checkout counter, that you have to hand your money to the guy behind the book stackes through a 6-8 inch gap in the wall it makes. You can only fit maybe 6 people inside at once it's crazy.

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Mystery McMysteryface
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Same thing happened to me when I moved here. There was a really cool used book store close by and they closed about 2 years ago. I rarely go to chain stores, they're pretty bad/useless/expensive.

I am a library addict and use the interlibrary loan service a lot. If not, I buy through Amazon.
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Quinn Munnerlyn
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Carrollton
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If you make it up this way in the Dallas area you should see Recycled Books in Denton. It's exactly like you were describing.
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Sven Berglowe
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Edmond
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I am getting so tired of Half Priced Books. While I love shopping trying to sell anything to them is a complete rip-off. Good luck finding those stores./DOCarrrh
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Mystery McMysteryface
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I know it's not a help, but you can try Goodwill, Salvation Army, and other thrift stores and garage/yard sales. They're always selling books!
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CHAPEL
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EgorjLileli wrote:
I know it's not a help, but you can try Goodwill, Salvation Army, and other thrift stores and garage/yard sales. They're always selling books!


Oh, not belittling all the other venues. But there was just something "special" about these great repositories that didn't require much hunting other than sifting through the piles of book and shelves.
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Mystery McMysteryface
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MWChapel wrote:
EgorjLileli wrote:
I know it's not a help, but you can try Goodwill, Salvation Army, and other thrift stores and garage/yard sales. They're always selling books!


Oh, not belittling all the other venues. But there was just something "special" about these great repositories that didn't require much hunting other than sifting through the piles of book and shelves.


SIGH.......yes, I know! cry
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I love used book stores. And I love the smell of old books. Some of my favorite books ever, I've found in a used bookstore.
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Adrian Hague
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Bristol
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I scored my first copy of the Necronomicon (Dee edition) perusing old book shops.

Happy days... goo
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Dan Cristelli
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Milton
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MWChapel wrote:

But I've always loved those used book stores that were usually built in some old house that smelled like grandma's. Where every nook and cranny were stuffed with books to the ceiling. With enough searching, you were always bound to find what you're looking for.


You know what I miss? Every one that I grew up going to had an old creaky wood floor. And when I browse for books now, I expect the floor to creak as I shift to look down the row.
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Paul DeStefano
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Long Island
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When I was in about 8th grade, I would walk home from school rather than bus so I could hit the used book shop. I was reading at an absurd pace then, and there was no way I could afford the books I wanted. So I would buy them for .50 each. Some were .75, and that was too much. I would buy 5 a week. Pulps like Burroughs, classics like HG Wells, Heinlein, Piers Anthony by the ton...

Its a muffler place now, but it filled its need when I lived there.
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pronoblem baalberith
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Come to Massachusetts. Game stores have gone out of business now there are maybe four good ones in the entire state. Independent / used record stores are now down to two decent stores in all of Western Mass with Boston and surrounding having a few more. But used book stores, there's one in every town surrounding where I live... and with places like Northampton four to choose from. The best place in the area is the Bookmill, an old water-wheeled mill that has been converted into an amazing book shop, bar and venue. In the past it was simply a catacomb of books but they have brightened it up a bit and added some other shops and a restaurant. If you are ever in the area it is worth the stop. The Bookmill is also a venue for poetry, music and independent film.



Some of my other faves:

Food for Though in S.Hadley - All books $1 tax included and great coffee. I have picked up some great deals here.

Gray Matter Books in Hadley - Huge space and many valuable books, owner is a supporter of the local art-out-free-noise scene and hosts two shows a week. My band played there and I have seen many good shows.

Troubadour Books in Hatfield - great collection of pulp, sci-fi, music related and philosophy.

Raven in Northampton - owners of Bookmill opened up this place.


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If it falls on me and pins me underneath it, does that still count as seizing the day?
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I think that all right-thinking people in this country are sick and tired of being told that ordinary, decent people are fed up in this country with being sick and tired. I’m certainly not, and I’m sick and tired of being told that I am.
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Great old bookstores rule! There's just no substitute for working your way through tall shelves, with your head turned on its side, reading old, smudged titles, and smelling that scent of paper slowly rotting away.

However, when I'm searching for a particular title, instead of Amazon or some other on-line warehouse, I use Book Finder. It's a meta-search engine that combs through the on-line listings of bookstores around the country, and even around the world.

I used them to pick up a copy of "A Short History of Scottish Dress". The book is long OOP, and the only copy available at the time was one in Australia. Including shipping the total was almost 80 USD, but I was happy to get it. Turns out that copy was originally from the Koo-Ring-Ai (IIRC) public library.

Bookfinder is not the same as prowling through the stacks of a great old bookstore just to see what oddities they have, but it can sure help you find a specific book.
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CHAPEL
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rdonato926 wrote:


You know what I miss? Every one that I grew up going to had an old creaky wood floor. And when I browse for books now, I expect the floor to creak as I shift to look down the row.


Exactly! And there always seems to be only that one guy who works there. He is usually 45-55 years old. Grey hair, with a mangly beard, wearing bifocles and an argyle sweater. He's usually reading something, and has a non-nonchalant attitude when you ask him a question. And if you're lucky, he may have friendly cats roaming the store, always waiting for a petting.
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Tim Seitz
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Glen Allen
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There's a couple of old-school bookstores on the Outer Banks in NC I like to visit when I am there. They always have quirky selections.
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Morgan Dontanville
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http://www.paperbackswap.com/index.php
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CHAPEL
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sisteray wrote:


While a cool site. That is what is destroying the dream! Thanks Technology! cry
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Morgan Dontanville
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MWChapel wrote:
sisteray wrote:


While a cool site. That is what is destroying the dream! Thanks Technology! cry


Doing what I can...
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Scott A. Reed
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sisteray wrote:


Also:

http://www.bookmooch.com/
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pronoblem baalberith
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skelebone wrote:


also:

http://www.bookcrossing.com/
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VETRHUS of Rogaland
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Milwaukee
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Hey, why get upset. Appreciate the good ones more when you get to them.

HPB is great. They have a green business model, they give credit, and send coupons, etc. Plus, I find games there... regularly.

But think of them as Taco Bell and the beloved book stores as a Fine Mexican Restaurant. You might find Cholula at both places, but you don't categorize them as comparables, do you?

Both are valued in my world for different reasons...
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True Blue Jon
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We have Powells over here, and many other fine but smaller used bookstores. I think the Portland, Oregon area may be a mecca for used books.
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CHAPEL
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Round Rock
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diehard4life wrote:


Both are valued in my world for different reasons...


True. But obviously the small used books stores are not being valued as much anymore, as they keep closing shop.

My rant for today is, I ain't got one here!

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Chony McChuukface
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Gilbert
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You need a Bookmans in Austin.


Of course, we need SXSW in Arizona.
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