One of my favorite things to do on the weekend is walk to my neighborhood used bookstore. It’s located on a shady, tree-lined street on a nice road in Burbank, CA that is packed with shops and restaurants. Books fill the shop and overflow onto the street, onto tables and in cardboard boxes. The best way I can describe the layout of the store is an organized mess. Some genres are broken out into specific areas while others are in a rough alphabetical order that looks like an eight year old might have done the alphabetizing. Since there is more inventory than there is shelf space, you sometimes have to dig through a few boxes on the floor to find what you need, or the staff might have to lend you a step ladder to reach the higher shelves. The important thing is that they always have what you need.
What’s even better about my bookstore is that if you ask somebody that works there where a certain book or author is, they walk you right to it. Do this at a Borders or Barnes & Noble and a young twenty something with a pho-hawk and an eyebrow ring will spend ten minutes searching on their computer only to tell you that Harry Potter is located in the Young Adults section. Not at my bookstore. Here you can ask for the most obscure author and the staff will walk you directly through their maze of boxes and over piles of books, only to pick up exactly what you asked for. On yeah, and since it’s used, I only pay a fraction of the price. They also have a huge selection of old magazines (dating back to the 1920s), movie posters, and audio books. I can often spend an hour or two checking out their excellent collection of books and magazines or talking to the staff and other customers. While the large chain stores have to temp patrons with caffeinated drinks and chairs, my bookstore does it with their old school charm.
So, if you are the type of person that buys your books online, or at the big chain store, give your local used bookstore a shot. You will probably find great deals, a knowledgeable staff, and a great way to spend your afternoon. If you live in the Los Angeles area you can visit my hangout at:
Book Castle Movie World
212 N San Fernando Blvd
Burbank, CA 91502