Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Top Ten Reasons I Love Second-hand Book Stores

10. Two words: low prices.
9. That promising damp, musty smell.
8. Hidden chairs to sit on.
7. Not a single large-chain, west-coast, American, coffee mega-empire branch in sight.
6. Quiet, bookish store owners let you do your own thing.
5. Hidden corners to sit on aforementioned chairs.
4. A personal inscription just inside the cover makes you wonder about the history of your new, pre-loved book.
3. If there is music, it's discreet and conducive to curling up in aforementioned corner.
2. No sales bins and no wretched impulse buys at cash register.
1. Discovering a book you'd forgotten you'd missed, and it thrills you to find it... re-discover it, then remember it all over again.


Anonymous said...

You can't be serious about loving that musty smell. Dry and dusty is much better smelling?

I once bought an old book at a garage sale, and didn't realize until I started reading it at home that it gave off the worst musty odor...ever.

I left it in the sun for a few days, in a vain attempt to get rid of the smell, but it was no use.

I hate to throw away a perfectly good read, which is what the book looked like it was, however, each musty whiff made me nauseous.

Finally, I had to get rid of it. I left it on a streetcar, thinking perhaps that someone else would find it and not mind the odour so much.

Despite my resolve to find another (fresher smelling) copy of the book, within a little while I had forgotten both the title and the author, so there you go, opportunity lost...but hey, at least no more nausea!

Anonymous said...

The other great thing about used book stores is that the people who work there actually know something about books. If you ask them a question, they don't immediately dive for their computer and mouse and rely on that to answer every little query.

Speaking of used book stores, remember the fantastic looking one in "Funny Face" where Audrey Hepburn worked? She climbed a ladder to reach the highest shelves and the shop was full of that used bookstore atmosphere.

Of course once discovered by the fashion set, it was bye bye bookstore. Audrey was soon swept off to Paris, the runways, beatnik cafes and the elegant embrace of ...was it Fred Astaire? Whoever it was, he was old and awful and they made a ghastly match, but at any rate, they danced well!

Anonymous said...

Here's the eleventh reason to love second hand bookstores:

When you come out of a second hand bookshop, you actually come out with a book or books, NOT a candle, cinnamon candy, bath soap, coffee mug, petunia seeds or a partridge in a pear tree!