Thursday, October 04, 2012

the smell of old books

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? 

The Leafs Me Happy blog hop continues -- Thursday's bloggers are Debby Kratovil Quilts,Patchouli Moon Studio, Freemotion by the River, Quilt Doodle Doodles, Apple Avenue Quilts, Jane's Quilting, Spoilt Dog Quilts, Ramblings of a Quilter, Deborah, & Gracie Oliver Arts      


krisgray said...

Bloomington, IN, had several great used book stores back when I was in grad school. They were great! I haven't been back in a long time.

Here in the St. Louis area I know of only one that comes close. Most of the used stores here are for paperbacks (recent romances, mysteries), and they are few and far between. I have great restraint for new books but a good used book store is almost like a fabric store for me!

Ann Marie @ 16 Muddy Feet said...

I actually do book swapping on line. A few years ago I swapped out all the kids books for adult books that I wanted to read, now that I have time to do that again. So now I have 3 huge bookcases of books waiting for to pick it one off and read.

Karin said...

Boy do I!! I have those same kinds of memories. Well, except I didn't meet my husband there. LOL. Your post evoked all sorts of wonderful memories for me. When I was a kid and we traveled, the used bookstore was the first place I asked to go. I remember the used book stores on the beach filled with the next great adventure and browsing through boxes and shelves. Then when we had kids and we traveled, the used book stores were eagerly anticipated. Oh gosh, I could go on forever! We are a family of avid readers and there are never enough bookshelves in our home.

Denise :) said...

I love used book stores. We have one that I stop in all the time. Our main library has a really big used book store, too. I mostly browse. Since the RV can't handle a big book collection, I try to keep most of my reading to the kindle -- or be willing to give away a hard copy (with certain notable exceptions)! :)

pizzaeater said...

I love used book stores! I remember going to one while we were on vacation. I took my time to find the right book. Back then I read horror books. Now there is a huge used book store that also has dvds and cds. I like to look around once in a while. I also get books there for my crafting too.

Andee said...

I too love a good used bookstore! We go to Bookman's here though it isn't the same as the bookstores back in Wisconsin with the various rooms and space, it is better than nothing! Nothing better than a good book!

Rebecca Grace said...

Ooh, those old Nancy Drew mysteries bring back such good memories! I used to read three at a time, just all-day reading marathons and my mom stopped buying them before me because she said three books a day was too expensive. Then we started frequenting the library more regularly!

Today I buy a lot of books on Amazon. I have the Prime membership so there's no shipping, the selection is unparalleled, and I like being able to read reviews from other customers and have the book show up two days later. And I really, REALLY like that if my pastor references an interesting book during the sermon, I can whip out my phone and order it RIGHT THEN AND THERE. Same thing if there's an interesting book review on NPR that piques my curiosity. The big Barnes & Noble near me never seems to have what I'm looking for, so I only go there when my kid needs a book for school that he has known about for weeks, but didn't tell me about until the NIGHT BEFORE...


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