Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Favorite Bookstore

We went totally off the wall with our Favorites this week, and we'll be talking about our favorite bookstores (or, to word it more fairly, our favorite places to get books from).

My favorite book-acquiring-place depends on what I'm going to do with the book in question. If I plan to read it once and never touch it again (or at least not pick it back up for years) I'm going to pick it up at the library, of course. It's free, it's convenient (I spend half or more of each day at a library, and pass several more on the way home from work), and chances are pretty good that it will still be there, should I ever want to revisit it.

But for buying my books (which I'm sure is what Cassy had in mind when she suggested this topic) I'm a pretty loyal Barnes & Noble fan. I have a member card (so I get a discount whenever I remember to bring that with me) and I always have a gift card. Always. I don't think I've been completely without a single cent on a B&N gift card since, like, the late '90s. It's crazy.

I have a Kindle, but I really only use it for reading the classics. The reason for this is twofold: classics are free in the Kindle store, and also, it's way more convenient to carry around a Kindle than a stack of thick volumes of classic literature. Have you ever seen the full version of Les Miserables? I have that enormous tome in my Kindle; no heavier than a cheap trashy romance paperback, when it's on my Kindle.

I also am a library visitor when it comes to books I only plan to read once.  I have about five in my area, there's no excuse not to use them, and I support them by going to them.  Usually, the books I read for this blog, I pick them up at the library or get them from the library's eBook system.

However, my most favorite place to get books ever is called Blue Plate Books. It's this little second hand book store about an hour away from where I live (it's located in my parent's hometown and where some friends live, so I'm there a lot.)  He has a great selection and all the books are in amazing condition and he charges half price if not a little less for his books.  He even has a collection of books that are 100 years or older for sale, so that's really cool (albeit, a little pricier.)

This is where I pimp second hand bookstores.  Yes, Amazon and B&N and all those places are great, especially if you're looking for something that JUST came out and you're probably not going to find it used.  But if you know of a good second hand bookstore, USE IT.  They're so rare these days and, if you do have one, there's probably a good chance it's struggling.  Why pay through the nose for a book when you can buy one gently used for a third of the price?  And besides, it comes with a little history.  Maybe a bookmark got stuck inside or someone's grocery list, or a picture from their vacation.  It makes it that much more special.  

Also, you tend to form closer relationships with the guy at the used bookstore.  For instance, I still get the resident discount at Blue Plate despite the fact that I no longer live at the apartments that would afford me the discount.  The owner knows this but, because I come in there whenever I can, he gives it me me anyway.  Because he's awesome.  

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