While I’ve been visiting independent bookstores wherever I am for years, since we started the blog, I’ve hunted down stores with a renewed vigor. The number of used bookstores surprises me. The rents are so expensive in Los Angeles that independent bookstores selling new books withevents and activities struggle, so covering the overhead with a stock of used books is doubly difficult. As I’ve visited used bookstores over the last several weeks, I’m jealous of the communities that have them.
I’ve found that used bookstores fall into three broad categories: those that sell mass paperbacks, those that resemble a bookstore with new books but the stock is used, and those that carry fine or collectible books (calling them a used bookstore is a bit like calling an antique store a used furniture store). One of the attractions is the discounted price for everyone, but also the potential trade polices. Many bookstores give credit for donated books that can be used to purchase other used books. Some stores pay for used books, but those tend to be for collectible or rare books. As I’ve wandered through the used bookstores, I’ve noticed that the owners are extremely knowledgeable about books, their stock, and what they see coming through. They all knew the American Guide Series and gave me advice on how to collect them (avoid reprints), although none of them had any at the time. I found these fun stores recently: Read the rest of this entry »