I carry around a mental map of where all of the used bookstores of my childhood were. There was the one in Keizer where I got my copy of The Ghost of Blackwood Hall, the one that we only discovered when it was going out of business, the one by the consignment clothing shop where I bought a horror novel about alligators in the sewer that scared me half to death... Those stores are all long gone.
The bookstore that my mom shopped in when she was pregnant with me, then I worked in after school and met my husband at is still there, but I never go there. Since the original owner died, it hasn't been the same place.
These days, I get most of my books from the library or buy them new. There aren't nearly as many used bookstores as there used to be, and the ones that are still around are mostly a hybrid of new and used. The books are newer and in near-perfect condition. I really thought the days of taking in a sack of old books and trading them in for a smaller sack of new-to-you books were gone.
Then I walked into Browser's Bookstore in Albany. I swear, the smell of the place makes me giddy. It smells just like the store I met my husband in. It's also got the same feel...little rooms that ramble on forever....and an owner who knows where everything is. And you can take in a big bag of books and trade them in for ones you haven't already read. Or old Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden books you want to read again.
Where do you buy your books? Do you miss the used bookstores too?